01/14/2002 1:00AM

Siphonic working 'according to plans'


ARCADIA, Calif. - Siphonic, the top 3-year-old male in California, continues on schedule for trainer David Hofmans. Siphonic worked seven furlongs in 1:26.40 at Hollywood Park on Sunday, preparing for Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita.

The winner of the Hollywood Futurity last month and the third-place finisher in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last October, Siphonic ran the final furlong of the workout in 11.20 seconds and galloped out a mile in 1:39.20, according to trainer Hofmans.

Typical of many horses trained by Hofmans, Siphonic worked alone. "That way they don't put that much into the works and can save something for the race," Hofmans said.

Jerry Bailey will ride Siphonic in the Santa Catalina, which is run over 1 1/16 miles. Hofmans said Siphonic's recent training has gone well.

"We haven't missed a beat," Hofmans said. "It's all gone according to plans."

The competition in the Santa Catalina is expected to include Cottonwood Cowboy, Labamta Babe, National Park, and Kedington.

There is racing through Monday this week, and the Santa Catalina is the first of four graded stakes.

On Sunday, Affluent, the winner of the La Brea Stakes on Dec. 29, starts in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles. She breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Sunday.

Trained by Ron McAnally, Affluent is expected to face Graceful Cat, Love at Noon, Royally Chosen, and Sea Reel.

Six purses re-split

Banned amphetamines found in the postrace tests of six horses that ran at Hollywood Park and Del Mar last year has resulted in the redistribution of $89,000 in purses, according to rulings issued Sunday by the Santa Anita stewards.

The six horses tested positive for phenylpropanolamine and norpseudoephedrine. The drugs are amphetamines categorized as class 3 drugs and therefore subject to loss of purses when present in postrace tests. Six trainers were fined $1,500 for the positive tests.

The horses who tested positive were administered a feed supplement called Herbal Advantage that was found to contain the banned substances.

The product was allegedly sold by Greg Long, who used his owner's license to gain access to the backstretch and sell Herbal Advantage even though he did not have a vendor's license.

Long was scheduled to appear before the stewards at Del Mar in early September, but the case has yet to be heard.

Four of the horses were winners, including three at Del Mar: Saying Grace in a sprint for maiden claimers on July 23; Call Me Again in a maiden claimer on Aug. 1; and Lasting Tribute in a $50,000 claimer Aug. 3.

Starring Willy tested positive after winning a $50,000 claimer at Hollywood Park on June 13. Chalifoux was disqualified from a fifth-place finish in a maiden special weight at Del Mar on Aug. 3. Really a Lush was disqualified from a third-place finish in a $20,000 claimer at Hollywood Park on July 13.

After the disqualification, Saying Grace is once again eligible for maiden races. On Wednesday, Saying Grace will start against maidens at Santa Anita.

Lady George to step up

Lady George, the winner of two stakes for California-breds in the last three months, will make her next start against open company in Monday's $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes, owner Gordon Severson said.

Trained by Tony Locke at San Luis Rey Downs, Lady George won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 3 and the fillies division of the California Breeders' Champion Stakes on Dec. 28. In between, she was unplaced in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park.

The Santa Ynez Stakes is run over seven furlongs, as is the California Breeders' Champion Stakes.

"It looks like there are some quickies in there, but we can lay off of them," Severson said.

Other probables for the Santa Ynez include Ayanna, Candor, Fun House, My Aim is True, No Turbulence, Reine de Chateau, Rich Musique, and Twice as Golden.

The $150,000 San Marcos Handicap on Monday will be the return of Irish Prize, who won the San Gabriel Handicap on Dec. 30. Other likely starters include Blue Steller, Cagney, Kerrygold, Lord Flasheart, Loving, and Takarian.

Momentum bled in loss

Momentum, who finished fifth as the even-money favorite in Saturday's San Fernando Stakes, bled in the race, according to trainer Craig Dollase. Dollase said the setback would not keep Momentum from taking on San Fernando winner Western Pride in the $400,000 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 2.

* won the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap against older horses last month at Hollywood Park, his first start on dirt.

Orientate, the runner-up in the San Fernando, will not start in the Strub Stakes, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

Instead, * will be pointed for the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf on March 2. "He's a light horse and I think I'll back off and give him time," Lukas said.

Orientate finished a length behind Western Pride after the two had set a quick pace.

Azeri scores easily

Azeri remained unbeaten after three starts with an easy win in an allowance race on Saturday. The victory had trainer Laura de Seroux contemplating a stakes such as the $200,000 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 9.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Azeri won an allowance race by three lengths over Elaine's Angel, finishing a mile in 1:35.88. Owned by Allen Paulson Living Trust, Azeri won a maiden race at Oak Tree last October and a first-condition allowance race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 17.

"I think a stakes will be next," de Seroux said. "I'm glad we got the two turns in an allowance race and not a stakes."

Old-timers keep on going

Copelan's Eagle failed to win his first start as a 12-year-old last Friday, but trainer A.C. Avila was not discouraged by the result. He is considering a quick turnaround to a sprint for $10,000 claimers this Friday.

Last Friday, Copelan's Eagle finished fifth in a six-furlong sprint for $10,000 claimers after a wide trip, losing by six lengths to Jim's Relaunch.

"The track was too loose on the top," Avila said.

The oldest Thoroughbred in training in Southern California, Copelan's Eagle has won 14 of 68 starts. His most recent win was a four-length score in a $10,000 claimer on Oct. 25.

Avila said that Copelan's Eagle's enthusiasm has waned in the past, but that the veteran is in good spirits.

"He's sound and happy and healthy," Avila said. "He feels too good."

On Sunday, the 10-year-old Flick won a sprint on the hillside turf course, his first race since last March.

- China Grind, the winner of a maiden race for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15, has been declared from the 3-year-old classics because of injury, trainer Bob Baffert said.



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