03/17/2003 12:00AM

Stevens plays race script doctor


ARCADIA, Calif. - For the past several months, Gary Stevens was working alongside producer Frank Marshall and director Gary Ross on the movie "Seabiscuit." Stevens has gone back to his day job, riding horses, and on Sunday found himself in the position of spoiling the Hollywood ending for Marshall and Ross in the San Felipe Stakes.

Marshall and Ross, along with Steven Spielberg, purchased a minority interest in the colt Atswhatimtalknbout from owner B. Wayne Hughes. In his first start since that transaction, Atswhatimtalknbout came up a nose short of winning the San Felipe. He was denied by upset winner Buddy Gil, who was ridden by Stevens.

"Gary Ross called me last night to congratulate me," Stevens said Monday morning at Santa Anita. "Like I told the guys on ESPN yesterday, they wrote the script for 'Seabiscuit,' but they didn't write the script for the San Felipe."

Stevens celebrated after the race with the connections of Buddy Gil at The Derby, a popular steak house near Santa Anita that was originally owned by George Woolf, the jockey Stevens plays in the movie. Also at The Derby were Hughes and his entourage.

"We were happy. We felt like we had won," Hughes said Monday morning. "We were singing 'My Old Kentucky Home.' The people who won the race were probably thinking, 'Didn't we win?' when they heard us."

Milwaukee Brew recovering

Milwaukee Brew, who won the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this month to become only the second two-time winner of that race, became ill soon after and has not trained in a couple of weeks, trainer Bobby Frankel said Monday morning from his barn at Hollywood Park.

"He came out of the race sick, but he's doing well now," Frankel said. "He lost some weight. We're just going to wait with him. He wasn't going to run until Hollywood Park, anyway."

The next major objective for Milwaukee Brew is the Hollywood Gold Cup, in which he finished third last year behind Sky Jack and Momentum.

Jetinto Houston cruises to win

Jetinto Houston, making her first start since being purchased privately by Gary Barber and the Team Valor syndicate of Barry Irwin, romped to a five-length victory in Sunday's $100,000 Irish O'Brien Stakes, a sprint for older California-bred fillies and mares.

Jetinto Houston had been trained and co-owned by Pico Perdomo, who is getting out of training in order to go full-time into the bloodstock business. Barber and Team Valor purchased the filly and turned her over to Jenine Sahadi.

"Barry hasn't sent me too many stiffs, that's for sure," Sahadi said Monday morning. The best horse Sahadi has trained for Team Valor is The Deputy, who won the 2000 Santa Anita Derby.

Jetinto Houston, a 4-year-old filly by Houston, was one of three winners on the card for jockey Mike Smith.

Singletary to stay on turf

Singletary is off the Kentucky Derby trial, and that is of no concern to trainer Don Chatlos Jr.

Stakes placed on turf in December, Singletary started in two races on dirt earlier at this meeting but ran poorly.

Singletary returned to turf in the $81,100 Academy Road Stakes on Friday, and scored a convincing victory, leading throughout to prevail by 2 1/2 lengths. Singletary ran a mile on turf in a sharp 1:33.69.

"We were guilty of Derby fever," Chatlos said of the losses on the main track. "But there will be no more dirt racing."

Ridden by David Flores, Singletary led by a length on the backstretch and finished clear of the late-closing Steelaninch. Deep Shadow finished third in the field of eight.

Chatlos said Singletary will be pointed for the $150,000 La Puente Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf on April 12.

The Academy Road Stakes was the first Santa Anita stakes win for Chatlos, 35, who has a 10-horse stable at Hollywood Park. He is a former assistant to John Sadler and Ron Ellis.

Starrer unlikely for Apple Blossom

Starrer, the winner of the Santa Maria and Santa Margarita handicaps this year, is unlikely to start in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 5, trainer John Sherriffs said.

Instead, the 5-year-old Starrer will be pointed to the major stakes for fillies and mares at the upcoming Hollywood Park meeting - the $200,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 24 and the $250,000 Vanity Handicap on June 21.

Got Koko, who finished fourth in the Santa Margarita after sweeping the three-race La Canada Series earlier in the meeting, will not start at Hollywood Park, trainer Bruce Headley said.

Headley said that the 4-year-old Got Koko will be given a break and pointed for the Del Mar meeting, which starts in late July.

Sarava works with Apalachian Thunder

Sarava, who has not raced since winning last year's Belmont Stakes, worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 on Monday morning at Santa Anita with Stevens up. He worked in company with the 3-year-old colt Apalachian Thunder, who is also trained by Bob Baffert and received the same final time.

Dana Barnes was on Apalachian Thunder, who is scheduled to make his next start in the $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park on March 30.

* Two top sprinters trained by Darrell Vienna, Disturbingthepeace and Echo Eddie, both worked Monday at Santa Anita. Disturbingthepeace went a half-mile in 49 seconds, and Echo Eddie covered five furlongs in 1:00.40.

* Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who leads the standings at Santa Anita, has been given a five-day suspension for his ride on Que Facil Corazon in Friday's second race. Que Facil Corazon won the one-mile turf race for $55,000 to $62,500 claiming fillies, but was disqualified and placed last for crossing over without sufficient clearance as the field neared the first turn. The suspension covers racing Wednesday through Sunday.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen