07/13/2004 11:00PM

Roman Ruler unable to run

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Roman Ruler, a promising colt trained by Bob Baffert, is out of Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship because of a foot abscess, but stablemate Actxecutive and the two-time stakes winner Chandtrue will start in the six-furlong race for 2-year-olds.

Baffert said that Roman Ruler popped an abscess in a front foot on Wednesday morning, which makes a start in the Juvenile impossible.

"I was hoping he would pop it last night," he said Wednesday. "I'm just being cautious. If I had an extra day I would run him. If you don't watch these things, they can turn into a quarter crack."

Roman Ruler, a Fusaichi Pegasus colt, won his debut by four lengths in a five-furlong maiden race June 19.

Actxecutive was fourth behind Chandtrue in the Haggin Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 20, Actxecutive's first start for Baffert. Actxecutive was purchased by Jim McIngvale after winning a maiden race at Calder on May 31.

Chandtrue joined the Juvenile field on Wednesday after trainer Bob Hess Jr. and owner Harold Greene discussed whether to wait for the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 15.

"The only indecision was me being conservative," Hess said. "It was never the horse."

Chandtrue is unbeaten in three starts, including the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes over five furlongs on May 23. In the Haggin Stakes, Chandtrue pulled clear in the stretch to score by seven lengths.

The Grade 3 Juvenile Championship will have a small field. Aside from Actxecutive and Chandtrue, the probable starters are Commandant, who has yet to start; Gentleman Count, a maiden who was third in the Proctor and second in the Haggin Stakes; and Great Power, who won a $40,000 claiming race for maidens on June 30. Nick Hines trains Gentleman Count and Great Power, who will be coupled in the betting.

Commandant, trained by Bill Currin, worked three furlongs in 35 seconds on Wednesday, which tied for the third fastest of 21 recorded works at the distance.

Just six likely for Sunset

The Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting ends on Sunday and the closing-day feature, the $150,000 Sunset Handicap, will also have a small field.

The Sunset is run over 1 1/2 miles on turf. The probable starters are Continuously, Freddy, Gallant, Gulchie, Leprechaun Kid, and Runaway Dancer.

Continuously, trained by Bobby Frankel, was placed first in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup last November following the disqualification of stablemate Epicentre.

This year, Continuously has made two starts, finishing second in the San Luis Obispo Handicap at Santa Anita in February and sixth in the Charles Whittingham Handicap here on June 12.

Runaway Dancer is trained by Dan Hendricks, who suffered paralysis in his legs in a motorcycle accident on July 7.

Hendricks underwent an eight-hour surgery at a San Diego hospital on Monday to stabilize his spinal cord.

Hendricks's friends are hopeful that he can return to training by late August. Until then, assistant Francisco Alvarado is overseeing the stable. Many of the 25 horses in the Hendricks stable have been sent to Del Mar.

Sweet Return gets Bailey for Read

Sweet Return, the winner of the San Marcos and Frank Kilroe handicaps at Santa Anita earlier this year, will be ridden by Jerry Bailey in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar on July 25.

Sweet Return, 4, won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on turf at Del Mar last summer. In May, Sweet Return lost two major stakes, finishing second in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby undercard and fifth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park on May 31.

Following that race, trainer Ron McAnally gave Sweet Return a break with the Grade 1 Read over 1 1/8 miles on turf as a comeback goal.

"I think he enjoyed the rest," McAnally said.

The Read is one of six stakes run on the opening week of the Del Mar meeting, which starts Wednesday with a program highlighted by the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes.

The Read is expected to have a strong field. The probable starters include Designed for Luck, the winner of the Shoemaker Mile; Bayamo, the winner of the American Handicap on July 4; and Sarafan and Special Ring, who have won the last two runnings of the Read.

McAnally says that Patriot's Pass, who won an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on dirt on July 11, may return in the Oceanside Stakes, which is run over a mile on turf for 3-year-olds.

Patriot's Pass has won his last two starts, including a maiden race on June 19. In the July 11 race, Patriot's Pass rallied smartly from fifth to score by 2 1/4 lengths over 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

A half-brother to the millionaire mare Affluent, Patriot's Pass has impressed McAnally in recent months.

"He was kind of a big dummy to begin with, but he's putting it all together," McAnally said.

Meteor Storm's agenda changed

Meteor Storm, the winner of the San Juan Capistrano and Manhattan handicaps in the spring, will make his next start in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 29, trainer Wally Dollase said.

Earlier this summer, Dollase was considering the Arlington Million for Meteor Storm, but changed his mind after a seventh-place finish in the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park on July 3.

"He's had three hard races in a row," Dollase said.

Domestic Dispute plays catch-up

Domestic Dispute, the winner of the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita in February, has not started since finishing sixth in the $6 million Dubai World Cup. He worked a half-mile in 47 seconds on Wednesday, according to trainer Paddy Gallagher.

Officially, Domestic Dispute worked three furlongs in 35 seconds, but Gallagher said it was actually a half-mile workout.

Domestic Dispute is being considered for the $250,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 1.

"It's still in the cards," Gallagher said. "I'm probably a little bit behind."