02/18/2005 1:00AM

Sometimes results don't tell the whole story


PHOENIX - Some notes on my program from last weekend:

Scipion: As impressive as Scipion looked storming home in the Risen Star, I have some concerns about him and this race. First, it seems Scipion can be a powerhouse when he is out in the clear and not getting any dirt kicked in his face. That was the case in his stunning debut, but he was less than dazzling in his other races, when he raced more to the inside. That's all well and good, but how is he supposed to get that kind of trip in the Derby, falling back miles out of it and staying very wide? Can he pass 19 other horses doing that? Does he have that kind of talent?

The other concern is the time of the race. The fractions for the 1 1/16 miles were 46.75 seconds, 1:11.61, 1:37.82, and 1:44.54. Three-year-old fillies ran the same distance about an hour earlier in 47.56, 1:12.60, 1:37.22, and 1:43.79. In other words, the boys came home awfully slowly.

Don't Get Mad: He may not have won the race, but Don't Get Mad won the reviews in the San Vicente. A son of Stephen Got Even making his 3-year-old debut, Don't Get Mad lagged early, then charged home along the inside to finish like a wild horse. It no doubt caught the eye of many, and considering Ron Ellis is usually conservative, his statements about how "great" the horse ran and his announcement of plans that Don't Get Mad would next be seen in the Grade 2 San Felipe March 19 speak volumes.

Meanwhile, don't get too down on Consolidator. It was just his first start as a 3-year-old and he ran like a short horse. Whereas Don't Get Mad was short on overall seasoning and needed to show some pizzazz to deserve going on, Consolidator is already a proven commodity. Now, if he were to falter next time, then I'd be worried.

A.P. Adventure: Speaking of worried, as good as she has looked physically and as well as she has worked in the mornings, A.P. Adventure isn't performing like the filly we saw here a year ago. She had absolutely no excuse in the Grade 2 La Canada last weekend, when she got a perfect trip stalking the pace but didn't have the necessary punch when the real racing began. And it wasn't like this was the strongest La Canada; many of the better 4-year-old fillies missed this race, having just run in the Sunshine Millions. Is it sensible to believe she can be a top filly after three straight decent but hardly dazzling efforts?

Musical Chimes: The dirt experiment worked, sort of. Trainer Neil Drysdale had long talked about running this crack turf mare on the dirt, and last week's Grade 1 Santa Maria provided the opportunity. She showed enough tactical speed to get position and loomed a huge threat into the lane, but just couldn't provide the necessary punch. She certainly appeared to handle the dirt, but because she was up closer to the pace than usual, chasing faster splits, she lost her primary weapon - her rocket acceleration. She can likely win a dirt stakes if she finds the right competition, but in all likelihood it's back to the turf for Musical Chimes. The Grade 1 Kilroe Mile is on March 5, and remember, she beat the boys on this course in the Grade 2 Oak Tree BC Mile last fall and ran quite well in the BC Mile at Lone Star.

Mr. Light: His dazzling record-setting run on the Gulfstream turf course Jan. 3, after he was off over three months, was viewed with more skepticism than admiration. Not only were questions raised about the validity of the time of the race on Gulfstream's new turf course, but this horse had never really shown that kind of talent. When he came back in Saturday's Grade 3 Appleton and stormed by the very talented Host in the final furlong, he validated his Jan. 3 time and proved he may be a horse on the come.

Hollywood Story: I had always viewed her with a bit of skepticism - at least away from Hollywood Park. Almost all of her big races have come in Inglewood, so I was leery about her in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita last Sunday, despite the brilliance she had shown winning the Grade 2 Bayakoa at Hollywood in her previous start. She proved me wrong. She didn't win, but it wasn't because she didn't run well enough. Hollywood Story sat midpack, made a steady run into the lane, but had to wait behind horses. This allowed eventual winner Miss Loren first run. No matter, there was room on the rail, so rider Pat Valenzuela ducked Hollywood Story to the wood and she came strongly again. Unfortunately, the room that was there earlier was squeezed away as one-two finishers Miss Loren and Good Student steadily moved to the left. By the time Valenzuela and Hollywood Story got there, the hole was gone and Valenzuela now had to steady hard and yank his filly to the outside. Then it was too late. The stewards let the result stand, and rightly so. It was just one of those things. Bad racing luck. In my mind, though, Hollywood Story was best. She can prove it in next month's Grade 1 Santa Margarita.