09/29/2002 11:00PM

Siphonic could earn start in BC Sprint


ARCADIA, Calif. - Siphonic, one of the top 2-year-olds of 2001, makes his first start in six months in Wednesday's third race at Santa Anita, a $54,000 allowance race over seven furlongs.

How the race will fit into the rest of Siphonic's fall campaign is unclear.

Trainer David Hofmans admits that time has run out for Siphonic to be ready for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic over 1 1/4 miles at Arlington Park on Oct. 26, but does not rule out the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint over six furlongs on the same day.

"If he runs a great race, maybe you go in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. I don't know," Hofmans said. "I think he could be a real good sprinter. We're too late for the Breeders' Cup Classic. We would have needed two races for that."

Hofmans also said that the $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 30 is another alternative.

Owned by Amerman Racing, Siphonic won the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity and Hollywood Futurity, and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year. Expected to be a factor in the build-up to the Triple Crown, he finished second in the Santa Catalina Stakes and third in the San Felipe Stakes last winter before being sidelined by injury.

Since returning to serious training in midsummer, Siphonic has impressed Hofmans, who has the winter stakes program at Santa Anita as a long-term goal.

First, Siphonic must prove he is back to top form in Wednesday's allowance race. Mike Smith will ride Siphonic for the first time. Later on the card, Smith rides Azeri, who will be heavily favored to win the $200,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Siphonic drew the rail and faces six others - Nick, Piensa Sonando, Slewston, Waingarth, and the entry of Lebontempsroulet and Resolve. None has won or placed in stakes this year.

Cecil thinks Banks Hill ripe for upset

The presence of Banks Hill in Saturday's $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes will ensure that a small field starts in the circuit's top prep for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Few owners and trainers will be willing to tackle Banks Hill, the champion turf female of 2001, and a local cast led by Golden Apples, the winner of the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August.

Ben Cecil trains Golden Apples and is anxious to try his filly against Banks Hill. Both Banks Hill and Golden Apples are on schedule for the Filly and Mare Turf, which Banks Hill won at Belmont Park last fall.

"Without Banks Hills, this wasn't going to be a strong race," Cecil said. "I think this is the time to run against her. She's been in New York and they've had to improvise."

Banks Hill was scratched from the Flower Bowl Handicap at Belmont last Saturday because the ground was not firm.

Aside from the top pair, the probables include Canzone, Nepenthe, and Noches de Rosa.

Janet, the 2001 Yellow Ribbon winner, will not start. She is scheduled to be sold in November in Kentucky, but may make one more start, possibly in the $200,000 Las Palmas Handicap on Nov. 3.

A minor leg injury could prevent Crafty C.T. from starting in Saturday's $200,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap.

"He's got a tiny bit of swelling in a hind ankle," trainer Howard Zucker said. "I think he kicked the wall or something. Hopefully, it will only be an overnight thing."

Third in the Metropolitan Mile Handicap at Belmont in May, Crafty C.T. won an allowance race at Del Mar on Aug. 30, leading throughout. Zucker said a decision will be made after Crafty C.T. undergoes precautionary X-rays.

The Grade 1 Ancient Title has six other probables - Avanzado, I Love Silver, Kalookan Queen, Rio Oro, Stoney, and Swept Overboard, last year's winner.

Saturday's $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile on turf will include Congaree, D'wildcat, Nicobar, Night Patrol, and Zanapour.

The $200,000 Norfolk Stakes for 2-year-olds will feature Bull Market, Kafwain, Listen Indy, Man Among Men, Mr. Technique, and Royal Siphon. Locally based Icecoldbeeratreds, a two-time stakes winner at Del Mar, is being pointed for the $500,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont on Saturday.

Momentum tops Goodwood field

The $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap is Sunday's top race. A prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Goodwood is expected to draw Euchre, Grey Memo, Kela, Like a Hero, Momentum, Pleasantly Perfect, and Truly a Judge.

Momentum, second in the Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic this summer, will be favored in an attempt to end a six-race losing streak.

The $300,000 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship will feature Blue Steller, Hawkeye, Mister Kybelee, Nazirali, Sarafan, Skipping, and The Tin Man.

The $200,000 Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies will have a small field. Composure, Heart ofa Champion, and Sea Jewel are expected to start in a prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Replay show back on air

A nightly replay program will resume on over-the-air television in the Los Angeles area on Wednesday. KDOC-TV (Channel 56) will air replays at 10 p.m. on weeknights and at 7:30 p.m. on weekends.

The program was not shown during the Del Mar and Fairplex Park meetings. In addition, Television Games Network plans to devote two hours of its programming each day to the Oak Tree meet with an ontrack studio production from 3 to 5 p.m. The program will be simulcast each live racing day on Fox Sports Net.

As for account wagering, although Santa Anita is owned by Magna Entertainment, betting on races at the meet will not be available through Magna's XpressBet service. Instead, the Oak Tree races will be available through TVG and its partners, which include Youbet.com and the sites run by AmericaTab, such as winticket.com and brisbet.com. TVG has an exclusive broadcasting contract with the Oak Tree Racing Association, a not-for-profit organization that leases the track from Magna for the fall meet.

* Came Home and War Emblem, two of the nation's top 3-year-olds, worked over the weekend, but are not expected to start until the Breeders' Cup Classic. Came Home, the winner of the Pacific Classic and five other stakes this year, worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 on Saturday. On Sunday, War Emblem worked six furlongs in 1:13.40.