06/25/2001 11:00PM

Serena's Tune switches barns


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Serena's Tune, a daughter of Mr. Prospector and champion Serena's Song, was recently transferred to trainer Josie Carroll's Woodbine barn.

Serena's Tune, a $1 million yearling purchase, won her debut impressively at Del Mar last August for trainer Neil Drysdale. She captured two consecutive turf sprints during the winter at Santa Anita, including the La Habra Stakes, but is coming off two straight dull efforts - in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn and the one-mile Edgewood Stakes on the grass at Churchill Downs.

"She's doing very nicely," said Carroll. "We're just trying to get a line on her. She had a couple of excuses in her last few races, other than the distance, so we're not really sure where we're at with her. We don't know which direction to go."

Kentucky breeder John Sikura, who had already owned a 50 percent interest in Serena's Tune, recently exercised his right to purchase the other half of her from Jim and Alice Sapara, who announced their intent to disperse their bloodstock holdings last week.

Serena's Tune was entered and scratched from last Saturday's Sweet Briar Too Stakes, where she would have met older opposition.

"We just weren't comfortable with running her against older fillies," said Carroll. As for just when the filly will run next, Carroll said, "We haven't decided at this point."

Carroll recently gave 3-year-old Sam Lord's Castle a freshening on the farm. Sam Lord's Castle took the Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds Jan. 27 and was beaten a nose in the Grade 3 Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland on April 11. He was fourth most recently in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct May 5.

"I turned him out for a month," said Carroll. "The holiday did him wonders. He's relaxed and has put some weight on. He had a pretty tough campaign this winter."

Carroll has sent out several juvenile winners this year, including Mapp Hill, who won his debut in a May 13 maiden special, and then finished seventh in the Grade 3 Flash Stakes at Belmont June 8.

"He bled in the Flash, and I've turned him out," said Carroll. "It came up a pretty solid race."

Ruby Park, another Carroll runner, owned by Eugene Melnyk, is also on the farm. Ruby Park was beaten a neck when she ran second to Mysterious Affair in each of her last two starts here in stakes - the Grade 3 Hendrie and the Ballade.

"I've turned her out for a couple of weeks too," said the trainer. "She ran all last year, all winter, and all spring. There's nothing for her right now, but there's some nice stakes for her here in the fall.

"At some point, she had to have a rest. She'll only be gone for two or three weeks."

Black Cash heading to Monmouth

Black Cash, who was nominated to Sunday's Grade 3 Dominion Day Handicap here, is headed to Monmouth for Saturday's Skip Away.

The Dominion Day is a 1 1/4-mile race worth $150,000, while the Skip Away, run at 1 1/16 miles, has a purse of $75,000.

"I think the mile and a quarter is a little far for him," said Tino Attard, who trains Black Cash for Stronach Stables Inc.

Cool Rain Falling back in town

Cool Rain Falling, the 2-year-old colt who shipped in from Chicago to finish fourth in the Victoria Stakes here June 16, has returned for Saturday's Clarendon.

Trained by Robert Gorham, Cool Rain Falling was a convincing winner of his 4 1/2-furlong debut at Hawthorne and will be making his third start in the $135,000 Clarendon, a 5 1/2-furlong race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

Two riders fined for whip abuse

Jockey Slade Callaghan has been fined $300 for "misuse of his whip."

The stewards ruled that Callaghan cut third-place finisher Litunga on the flank during the running of the fifth race here on June 17.

Constant Montpellier has been fined $200 for "using his whip in an excessive manner" during the stretch run of the third race here on June 20. Montpellier was aboard Certainly Classic, who was beaten a half-length in a second-place finish.

* Jaguarmeanspassion will seek his fourth consecutive victory in Thursday's feature, an $80,000 optional claimer for 3-year-olds going six furlongs on the grass.

* Susan Rutherford, of Oyama, British Columbia, finished first among more than 1,200 entrants in Woodbine Entertainment Group's 2001 Queen's Plate Fantasy Challenge. Contestants accumulated points for the game whenever the Plate-eligible runners they picked for their 10-horse stable won or placed in designated races on the road to the Plate. Rutherford, who had the first three finishers in the Plate on her team, won a home entertainment package, including a 32-inch television.

* Woodbine's $75,000 Handicapping Challenge will take place on Aug. 25 and 26. A $250 entry fee is required to enter the contest, which has a limit of 300 players. A mythical bankroll of $1,000 per day will be used, and contestants must bet $100 to win in 10 races. Wagers will be made on racing at three designated tracks, which will likely be Woodbine, Saratoga, and Fort Erie.

- additional reporting by Bill Tallon