04/04/2003 1:00AM

Recovering from Dubai travels


ARCADIA, Calif. - Three Southern California-based horses that started in Dubai last weekend will be given brief vacations when they return home this weekend.

Avanzado and Captain Squire, who were second and third in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint, and Lusty Latin, who was eighth in the $1 million Godolphin Mile, will be given breaks, their trainers said.

Avanzado will be pointed for the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap over seven furlongs at Hollywood Park on July 5, according to trainer Doug O'Neill said.

Winner of the Palos Verdes Handicap in January, Avanzado will remain with O'Neill at Hollywood Park while recovering from the trip.

Captain Squire and Lusty Latin do not have specific goals, according to trainer Jeff Mullins. "I'll send them both to the farm for a couple of weeks and let them get over the trip," he said.

Lusty Latin, who finished third in the 2002 Santa Anita Derby, will be pointed for turf races when he resumes racing, and Captain Squire will stay in sprints.

Mullins had considered starting Lusty Latin on turf last year, but an injury after an unplaced finish in the Kentucky Derby postponed the plan. "On the grass, they don't have all that dirt coming back on them," Mullins said. "I think he will be a better horse on the grass."

Captain Squire finished 2 1/2 lengths behind longshot winner State City in the Golden Shaheen, a result that disappointed Mullins. "He was just spinning his wheels," the trainer said.

Grey Memo, another California-based runner, is not expected to have a break. Trainer Warren Stute has mentioned the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes for California-breds over 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on April 26 as a possibility for the 6-year-old gray.

Fairplex Park discontinues training Mondays

Fairplex Park in Pomona has discontinued training on Mondays in an effort to cut costs and remain open on year-round as an offsite training facility, according to equine manager George Bradvica.

Last month, Fairplex Park was allocated $1.7 million for operating costs as a training center for the fiscal year that begins on May 1.

Originally, the stabling and vanning fund of Southern California Off-Track Wagering Inc., which administers funding for offtrack sites, provided Fairplex Park with $1.5 million for the upcoming fiscal year. The amount was recently increased by $200,000 to cover an additional month of costs.

According to Bradvica, Fairplex Park needs $2.3 million to cover its costs.

Without that funding, Bradvica said Fairplex is forced to cut costs to avoid shutting the facility for a few months. Last year, Fairplex was closed in the spring, when sufficient funding was unavailable.

One cost-cutting measure was canceling training on Mondays. Training may also be canceled on other days, such as major holidays, Bradvica said.

"It's still an unsolved problem," he said. "We're looking at every alternative we can to extend the dollars that we have. We feel we need to be able to remain open all year long. There's no good time to close."

In past years, Fairplex Park has received full funding from the stabling and vanning fund, but in recent years part of that money has gone to finance training at San Luis Rey Downs in northern San Diego county. Horsemen at San Luis Rey Downs pay a stall rent fee, while Fairplex Park does not charge horsemen a training fee.

Native Desert fourth in comeback

Native Desert, the millionaire 10-year-old, finished fourth in an optional claimer on Thursday and will be pointed to a defense of his title in the $150,000 Khaled Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on April 26, trainer Juan Garcia said.

Native Desert was making his first start in nine months Thursday, and finished a fast-closing fourth. Entered to be claimed for $80,000, he was eighth early in the hillside turf sprint, but closed well once the field crossed onto the main turf course. He was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by race winner Islander.

The distance was probably shorter than ideal for Native Desert, who likes a mile to 1 1/8 miles.

Bluesthestandard may go in Texas Mile

Bluesthestandard, the ex-claimer who won the Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap last weekend, is likely to return in the $300,000 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star Park, trainer Ted West said.

A 6-year-old, Bluesthestandard has started in a two-turn race only once, winning an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles on

March 12. West said he thinks the Texas Mile could be a reasonable spot, since the Grade 1 Carter Handicap over seven furlongs at Aqueduct on April 12 will draw several of the nation's top horses that are strong at a mile.

"The Carter is two weeks before it and it should draw the top horses because it's a Grade 1," West said.

Bluesthestandard has had a remarkable career. He has won 13 of 20 races and $320,410 and been claimed five times, most recently in December for $50,000.

Hollywood Park changes entry schedule

Hollywood Park will draw entries primarily on a 48-hour schedule for the upcoming spring-summer meeting, which begins on April 23.

With the exception of a 72-hour schedule on Sundays for Wednesday racing, the track will take entries two days in advance of race day. In recent meets, Hollywood Park drew Wednesday races on Saturdays and Thursday races on Sundays.

There are some exceptions to the new schedule. Entries for the first Saturday of the meeting, April 26, will be taken on Wednesday, April 23. The California Gold Rush Day card for statebreds is on April 26.

Martinez suspended five days

Jockey Felipe Martinez received a five-day suspension for his ride aboard Ace's Valentine in Wednesday's fifth race.

He was cited for failing to maintain a straight course in the stretch. Ace's Valentine was disqualified from fourth to fifth. The suspension begins Sunday and continues through Saturday.