02/15/2002 12:00AM

Santa Maria workout goes all wrong

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ARCADIA, Calif. - An aborted workout Friday has cast uncertainty over Printemps's status for the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap on Sunday at Santa Anita. Printemps and jockey Chris McCarron were passing the quarter-pole when McCarron unexpectedly pulled her out of the work.

"She stumbled behind and didn't feel quite right," McCarron said.

Instead of the scheduled blowout, McCarron slowed Printemps down, then guided her through an easy gallop once around the track.

McCarron declin-ed to elaborate on Printemps's physical condition, pending a conversation with trainer Ron McAnally. Printemps, a Group 1 winner in Chile, and 2 for 4 in the U.S., was preparing for her first start since November. While she has battled minor ailments, none was considered a potential jeopardy to her 2002 campaign. The incident did not preclude Printemps from being entered in the Santa Maria, but whether she will run will not be determined until Saturday at the earliest.

McAnally said from Hollywood Park Friday that he would know more after examining Printemps. "I'll see how she is [Saturday]," he said, adding "she's had a chronic back problem all her life."

Printemps, owned by John and Jerry Amerman, would be second favorite behind Spain in the Santa Maria. Printemps won her U.S. debut in April, followed by a Grade 2 win at Hollywood Park, and two second-place finishes in stakes in Kentucky. A 5-year-old mare, she has won 7 of 11, and earned $335,155.

Mayakovsky's comeback continues

Mayakovsky continued his comeback with a sharp five-furlong workout Friday. Runner-up to Came Home in the Grade 1 Hopeful for 2-year-olds last September at Saratoga, Mayakovsky has fallen below the Kentucky Derby radar, but recent works suggests it would be a mistake to write him off. A son of Matty G, Mayakovsky sustained a fractured hind leg last fall. But it has healed and he is making deliberate progress toward a comeback.

"He's improving slowly, gradually," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "I put a horse in front of him, and he went nice, very good. I've got a few more works to go. I'm very happy."

Biancone originally indicated that the two-turn San Felipe Stakes on March 17 would be Mayakovsky's comeback race, but he said Friday that Mayakovsky might be pointed instead to the one-mile Gotham Stakes the same day at Aqueduct.

"I want to go to the easiest spot," Biancone said.

The San Felipe is expected to attract Hollywood Futurity winner Siphonic; the Gotham is where Whirlaway winner Saratoga Blues may start next.

Beat Hollow strong choice

Beat Hollow, successful in his U.S. debut in an allowance race on Jan. 31, will be a strong favorite to win the third stakes of his career in Sunday's $75,000 San Marino Handicap, the second race on the program.

Run over 1 1/4 miles on turf, the San Marino is restricted to nonwinners of a first-place purse of $50,000 at a mile or over in 2001 and 2002. The race drew eight entrants, including the Gary Tanaka-owned entry of Lord Jim and Homeland.

Beat Hollow and Lord Jim were Group 1 winners before arriving in the U.S. Beat Hollow, third as the favorite in the 2000 English Derby, won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in June 2000, his final start before joining trainer Bobby Frankel's stable last year.

Lord Jim won the Group 1 Argentine Guineas in 2000 but has lost his last seven starts.

On Jan. 31, Beat Hollow closed from fourth on the backstretch to win an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles by a length comfortably under Alex Solis. Solis has the ride in the San Marino Handicap.

The field also includes defending champion Kerrygold, who is seeking to end a seven-race losing streak dating back to last year's running.

Joey Franco wins at 4-5

With the main opposition stuck in the barn, Joey Franco won his second race in a $52,920 allowance race for California-breds on Friday.

Sent off at 4-5, Joey Franco tracked Kith to the quarter-pole and drew off to win by 3 1/2 lengths, running a mile in 1:36.89. Gobi Dan finished second, followed by Kith and Iza Chili Bean.

Kedington, who finished fifth in the Santa Catalina Stakes on Jan. 19, was scratched on Friday morning because of a foot problem.

Without Kedington, Joey Franco was a standout. He was confidently ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who let Kith lead by as many as five lengths on the backstretch.

"The way he did it was impressive," Hofmans said. Hofmans said that Joey Franco may try stakes in his next start, but did not have a specific race in mind. Owned by his breeder, Jerry Frankel, Joey Franco has won 2 of 3 starts. In his career debut, he was third in the open division of the $150,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes on Dec. 28.

Place ads here

Advertising on silks, jockey clothing, and saddlecloths will be permitted at California racetracks in April after the California Office of Administrative Law approved regulations on the matter on Wednesday.

According to a statement from the California Horse Racing Board, the board and track stewards will develop procedures for advertising that is expected to be in place in time for the start of the Bay Meadows meeting on April 3 and the Hollywood Park meeting on April 24.

Regulations will restrict the size of advertising appearing on jockey's pantlegs, boots and leggings and the front of the collar. The size of advertisements on owner's silks and collars are also limited. There are no limits to the size and placement of advertising on saddlecloths.

The regulation permits advertising that includes logos, labels, or product endorsements, but each advertisement must by approved by track stewards.

A similar program is old hat in the United Kingdom, where the front of silks carry advertisements for a wide-range of products.

o Astra is the 121-pound highweight for Monday's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap over a mile on turf. Unraced since finishing ninth in the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes last August, she drew post 2 in a field of 12 fillies and mares.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen