02/16/2002 12:00AM

Siphonic misses workout

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Siphonic, widely considered California's top contender for the Kentucky Derby, missed a scheduled workout Saturday after he was found to have a temperature, trainer David Hofmans said.

Siphonic was scheduled to work six furlongs at Hollywood Park in preparation for the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 17.

"He just had a little bit of a temperature," Hof-mans said. "It was very minimal. We have so much time there's no use screwing anything up."

Owned by John and Jerry Amerman, Siphonic has won 3 of 5 starts, including the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity last October and the Hollywood Futurity in Decem-ber. He was second as a heavy favorite in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes on Jan. 19 after a poor start, and third in October's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Hofmans said that Siphonic may work at the end of the week. By Siphon, Siphonic has had one half-mile workout since the Santa Catalina Stakes.

Val Royal recovering

Val Royal, the winner of the 2001 Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park, may miss the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile on March 2 after a recent illness, trainer Julio Canani said.

Canani said that Val Royal returned to the racetrack on Saturday, and may work by the end of the week. Val Royal has not started since winning the Breeders' Cup Mile.

"He was supposed to work [Sunday], but it will be iffy," Canani said Saturday. "His temperature is fine. His blood was good, but he was coming down with something and we caught it on time. We're going to do another blood [test] on Tuesday.

"I'll breeze him at the end of the week and we'll see how he is. I hope I can get two workouts [before the Kilroe]."

Canani said that the $2 million Dubai Duty Free over about 1 1/8 miles on turf March 23 in Dubai remains a long-range goal.

Plans for Azeri

Azeri, who finished second in the La Canada Stakes on Feb. 9, may return in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap on March 10, trainer Laura de Seroux said.

Azeri made her stakes debut in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies and was beaten a length by Florida invader Summer Colony.

Azeri trains at San Luis Rey Downs in San Diego County with the bulk of the de Seroux horses. She returned to the track Saturday for the first time since the La Canada.

"I thought I could get away with giving her a week off," de Seroux said. "It won't hurt her fitness to give her a week off."

Mizzen Mast drills for Big Cap

Mizzen Mast, the likely favorite in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 2, worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Saturday. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Mizzen Mast has won two starts on dirt at this meeting - the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes over seven furlongs and the Grade 2 Strub Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 2.

In the Big Cap, Mizzen Mast is expected to face Cagney, Euchre, Fancy As, Freedom Crest, Futural, and Giant Gentleman.

Giant Gentleman, who was second to Mizzen Mast in the Strub Stakes and the Malibu, worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds Saturday at Santa Anita.

Irishesyesareflying, third to Redattore in the San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 3, may start in the Big Cap, but is also being considered for the New Orleans Handicap on March 3.

Redattore will miss the Big Cap in favor of the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 23 after sloughing the frog in a front foot in the San Antonio Handicap, trainer Richard Mandella said.

Memorial service Tuesday

A memorial service for Sean Chambers, the 29-year-old son of trainer Mike Chambers who died in a traffic accident Feb. 11, will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Avery Hall at the Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin, Arcadia, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Eddie Gregson Foundation, care of the California Thoroughbed Trainers, 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia 91007.