05/20/2001 11:00PM

Shoemaker might sort turf milers


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Perhaps the $350,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on Monday will sort out California's confusing group of turf milers.

Through the first 4 1/2 months of the year, no horse has developed into a clear leader on grass, a change from the last two years, when Silic, the 1999 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, dominated the group. As a result, this year's Shoemaker will be an outstanding betting race.

Brahms, the promoted winner of the Hollywood Derby last fall following the disqualification of Designed for Luck, is expected to travel from trainer Elliott Walden's base at Churchill Downs for the race.

Brahms will be the lone shipper to challenge a locally based group that includes 2000 stakes winners Fateful Dream, Irish Prize, Lake William, Redattore, and Spinelessjellyfish. Other probables include Bing Bang, All the Gears, Touch of the Blues, Native Desert, and possibly Tranquility Lake, the mare who may start in Saturday's Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap.

The lack of a strong favorite has trainer Richard Mandella confident that either of his starters - Redattore (the San Francisco Mile winner) or Lake William (the San Simeon Handicap winner) - can win.

"I have a good reason to run," Mandella said.

Lake William, who has never won at a mile, is the expected pacesetter, while Redattore is a stalker with the ability to run close to the lead. An import from Brazil, where he was a Group 1 winner in 1999, Redattore was unraced in 2000, but is 2 for 4 this year.

"He's a beautiful horse and he trains well," Mandella said. "He's supposed to be a good miler."

Redattore won his first U.S. stakes in the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile at Bay Meadows on April 28, outrunning Hawksley Hill in the final furlong by three-quarters of a length.

"He looked like he'd be the lead, but someone else wanted it," Mandella said. "He settled in second and went for the lead turning for home. Hawksley Hill looked like he was going to come after him, but he couldn't catch him."

Redattore, who will be ridden by Alex Solis, worked seven furlongs on turf in 1:26.80 Sunday. A 6-year-old, Redattore is 2 for 5 on dirt, a surface Mandella has in mind for him in the future. He considered a trip to Belmont Park this weekend for Redattore.

"I am anxious to try him on the dirt," Mandella said. "He trains well on it. I thought the Met Mile would have been a good plan. But if it didn't work out, I'd feel pretty stupid passing on this type of race."

The participation of Tranquility Lake in the Shoemaker Mile hinges on a phone call that will take place midweek between owner Marty Wygod and trainer Julio Canani.

Canani, who trained Silic, would like to run against males. He was happy with Tranquility Lake's six-furlong workout on turf in 1:11.80 between races on Saturday.

Tranquility Lake would be favored if she starts as the 124-pound highweight in Saturday's Gamely Handicap, at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race is expected to draw a strong field, including Beautiful Noise, Happyanunoit, High Walden, Kalypso Katie, and Rare Charmer. All won stakes in the last year in the U. S. or England.

Happyanunoit has not started since finishing third in the Matriarch Stakes last November, the end of a seven-race campaign in which she won only one race, the Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap in July.

Frankel said Happyanunoit was plagued by sore feet last year and walked for two months during the winter. Her goal remains the lucrative stakes for fillies and mares on turf at the end of the year.

"With these horses, you're better off getting them ready at this time of year if you want them to last until the end of the year," Frankel said.

Retiring Happyanunoit to a Kentucky farm was considered, but Frankel is glad to have her back.

"In a way, we might have gotten lucky. We might have bred and she might have aborted," he said, referring to the recent mysterious epidemic of mares losing foals in Kentucky. "It could have happened."

Business down

Strong ontrack business at Hollywood Park on Saturday helped to partially offset a loss in average business through the first 23 racing days of the 66-day spring-summer meeting.

Hollywood Park handled $18.3 million on Saturday, the second-highest Preakness Day handle in track history, trailing only the $18.9 million bet in 1989. For the day, ontrack attendance of 12,146 marked a 6.3 percent increase over last year.

Overall, Hollywood Park's business is trailing the 2000 meeting in several important categories. The loss of Friday night racing because of concern over California's power shortage has led to a 14 percent drop in attendance, from 9,808 to 8,432. The average ontrack handle of $2,090,788 was down 6 percent, while overall handle, including nationwide sources, was $10,142,503, a drop of 3 percent.

The meeting runs through July 16.

* Golden Ballet, who won her fourth stakes of the year in Saturday's Grade 1 Railbird Stakes, was the subject of several massive show bets. Of the $259,459 bet to show, $237,502 was bet on Golden Ballet, creating a minus show pool of $41,345. Golden Ballet returned $2.10 to show, as did Starrer and Pretty 'n Smart, who were second and third.