Updated on 09/15/2011 1:31PM

Season over for Golden Apples

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Golden Apples, whose third-place finish might be the most under-appreciated performance of Sunday's *, will take a break and not race again until spring. The 3-year-old filly was the only late-runner to gain appreciable ground in the Matriarch, run over a yielding course. Golden Apples finished less than three lengths behind winner Starine.

"On firm ground, I don't think anybody would have beaten [Golden Apples]," trainer Ben Cecil said.

Winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August and Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap last month, Golden Apples was the 2-1 Matriarch favorite. She was making her third start in six weeks.

Cecil said Golden Apples could return in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap on March 23 at Santa Anita.

Matriarch winner Starine also will be put on the shelf for winter, according to owner-trainer Bobby Frankel.

Cecil said Queenie Belle, third-place finisher in the $100,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap on Friday, will start next Dec. 15 in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap. The Cecil-trained Figlio Mio, second-place finisher in the California Cup Classic, is pointing to the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap on Jan. 5 at Santa Anita. Figlio Mio came down with a 104-degree temperature after the Cal Cup, but recovered and has resumed training.

Early Flyer back home

Early Flyer returned from Maryland in good shape after running second in the Grade 1 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Nov. 17, according to trainer Ron McAnally. Early Flyer will point to the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, opening day of the Santa Anita winter meet.

Making his first start in more than five months, Early Flyer finished behind Delaware Township in the De Francis Dash.

Early Flyer's Malibu rivals are expected to include Yonaguska, I Love Silver, and San Nicolas.

The McAnally-trained Printemps, runner-up in the Falls City Handicap on Thanksgiving at Churchill Downs, will skip the Dec. 15 Bayakoa at Hollywood. "She got sore on that track last year, so I think we'll wait until [Santa Anita]," McAnally said.

Printemps was compromised by a slow pace in the Falls City.

Bailey rides pair of live ones

Jerry Bailey, whose mounts have earned more than $22 million this year - nearly $8 million more than any other rider - travels to California next month to ride favorites in both Grade 1 races for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park.

According to agent Ron Anderson, Bailey will ride Siphonic in the $200,000 Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 15, and You in the $200,000 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 16. Siphonic finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile while fighting the anti-inside bias. You finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and was found later to have had a temperature. Siphonic is trained by David Hofmans; You is trained by Frankel.

Swept Overboard takes a break

Swept Overboard, leader of the California-based sprint division following his come-from-behind win Friday in the Hollywood Turf Express, will be turned out.

"This is the time of year to do it," trainer Craig Dollase said, adding "he deserves a little rest."

Swept Overboard won the Grade 1 Ancient Title Handicap in October, then finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint before winning the Turf Express. He won 3 of 8 this year, and earned $439,140.

Dollase said El Cielo was fine after his fifth-place finish Saturday in the Grade 2 Citation, run on a turf course labeled "good." Said Dollase: "Mother Nature wasn't on our side. He hadn't run very well on a soft course before, and just didn't handle the turf."

Dollase said El Cielo will remain in training and run this winter at Santa Anita.

Skip to the Stone on way back

Skip to the Stone, who early this year won the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct and Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita, took his first step back Tuesday morning at Santa Anita. Previously trained by Mike Mitchell and now trained by Bob Baffert, the 3-year-old worked three furlongs under Dana Barnes in 36.80 seconds.

Baffert did not have a timetable for the colt's return. Skip to the Stone last raced in May, and later underwent surgery for an ankle chip.

Baffert said that Wooden Phone, who won his Nov. 14 comeback, will run next in the Grade 2 San Pasqual on Jan. 5. He added that Habibti remains on course for the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet. Baffert won 10 races last week at Hollywood Park to take a 14-6 lead over Bobby Frankel in the trainer standings.

for The Matriarch Stakes chart.*

* Chart requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.