05/05/2002 11:00PM

Saarland forced to sideline until autumn


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Saarland, who finished 10th as the co-second choice in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, came out of the race with a chip in his left front ankle and will be sidelined until fall, trainer Shug McGaughey said Sunday.

The chip was discovered Sunday morning, after radiographs were taken. Saarland was scheduled to van to Rood and Riddle, an equine clinic in Lexington, Ky., where he would have surgery "whenever they get a slot over there," McGaughey said.

McGaughey said he was somewhat relieved to find the chip, because it gave him a legitimate excuse as to why his horse didn't fire. Next-to-last entering the first turn, Saarland made a mild run to be 10th, beaten 14 lengths.

"I was pretty discouraged last night," McGaughey said. "Not that he got beat, but that he didn't run any good being that he had been doing so good."

McGaughey said that jockey John Velazquez told ham that "when he broke from the gate, he broke a little sluggish and he tried to get him in the race, but he didn't want any part of it. He made a little run to the half-mile pole, then ran pretty even after that."

McGaughey said he hoped to have Saarland back for the fall, and is hopeful the horse could return to training by the middle of July.

Blue Burner, who finished 11th, will not run in the remaining two Triple Crown races, trainer Bill Mott said. Though the horse came out well, Mott said after two mediocre efforts "we got to take a little tougher look."

It'sallinthechase, who finished 16th in the Derby, will ship to Canterbury Park on Thursday, according to groom Rusty Higgins.

Back to California

Four California-based horses who were unplaced in the Kentucky Derby are going home.

Came Home, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby who finished sixth, will be pointed for the $500,000 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 14, according to trainer Paco Gonzalez.

"There's really nothing else to run him in," Gonzalez said. "We'll freshen him up."

Easy Grades (who finished 13th), Lusty Latin (15th) and Ocean Sound (17th) do not have short-term goals.

Easy Grades, second in the Santa Anita Derby, will be given a few months off according to Ted West, the father of trainer Ted H. West.

"I think he'll be a better horse in three or four months," Ted West said.

Lusty Latin may make his next start on turf, according to trainer Jeff Mullins. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said U S S Tinosa, who was omitted from the Kentucky Derby field because of a lack of graded stakes earnings, may try the Preakness.

U S S Tinosa was shipped from Hollendorfer's base in San Francisco to Churchill Downs last week, where he remains.

Shades of 1915

The amazingly simple way the Derby began and ended had historians scouring the record books to find the last time the first three finishers had been 1-2-3 as early as War Emblem, Proud Citizen and Perfect Drift were Saturday.

Under the wire the first time, War Emblem was first, Proud Citizen second, Came Home third and Perfect Drift fourth. But by the time War Emblem passed the seven-furlong pole in front, Proud Citizen was second and Perfect Drift was third - and that's the way they finished.

The last time anything similar occurred in the Derby was in 1925, when Flying Ebony led past the wire the first time, followed by Captain Hal and Son of John. That was the eventual order of finish, but the official chart said they interchanged positions down the backstretch, with Captain Hal holding a 1 1/2-length lead over Flying Ebony at the half-mile before Flying Ebony rallied back to win.

The last time the 1-2-3 finishers were in that position with as much as six furlongs remaining in the race was in 1915, when the filly Regret won over Pebbles and Sharpshooter. Those three held those same positions under the wire both times.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen and Marty McGee