05/27/2004 11:00PM

Sweet Return's speed bump


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Tsigane has only a minimal chance in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on Monday, but the good turf sprinter will have an impact on the race.

Nine entered the Shoemaker, including likely favorite Sweet Return, and Tsigane's fast three-furlong blowout Friday in 34.60 seconds suggests he will be among the leaders. The work was the second-fastest at the distance of the day. In 26 starts, Tsigane has not won beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, and has not placed in a graded stakes. His odds will be in the neighborhood of 20-1.

"That's good; it means I have no pressure," trainer Julio Canani said. "The horse is doing good."

Tsigane is racing for the first time since March 27, when he was sixth in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai. David Flores rides.

Another longshot starter worked three furlongs Friday. Momentum, a 6-year-old who has not raced since October 2002, worked in 37.20 seconds for trainer Craig Dollase.

The Shoemaker field, from the rail out: Singletary, Tsigane, Glick, Sweet Return, King of Happiness, Leroidesanimaux, Momentum, Dell Place, and Designed for Luck.

Megahertz scares 'em off

Due partly to the perceived dominance of Megahertz and a small field, the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares, was kept out of the pick six sequence Monday. Hollywood Park is offering a $1 million guaranteed pool on races 5-10, and the Gamely goes as race 2.

Only four fillies and mares are entered: Noches De Rosa, Dimitrova, Megahetz, and Quero Quero.

Buddy Gil, winner of the 2003 Santa Anita Derby, will seek his second straight win Monday in the $75,000 Ack Ack Handicap. Buddy Gil drew the outside post in the 7 1/2-furlong race, which also attracted Grey Memo, Top Hit, Van Rouge, Smile n Wildcat, Taste of Paradise, Cappuchino, Gift of the Eagle, and Black Bart.

Maiden Bella Banissa stakes choice?

Though still a maiden, Bella Banissa may be favored in a stakes - again - when she runs next Sunday in the $75,000 Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Bella Banissa finished second as the 9-5 favorite May 16 in the $75,000 Nursery Stakes, her career debut.

"She got a little tired, and ran into a filly that ran a little better," trainer David Hofmans said.

Bella Banissa finished well clear of third in that race, and after her easy five-furlong workout Friday in 1:03.20, Hofmans expects an improved effort in the 5 1/2-furlong Cinderella. Nursery winner Double D Appeal is not expected to run in the Cinderella.

In addition to the filly Bella Banissa, a 2-year-old colt trained by Hofmans has looked sharp in morning works. Golden Shine makes his debut Sunday in race 2, and if this son of Touch Gold runs as well as he trains, he is a strong contender in the field of 10. Owned by John and Jerry Amerman, Golden Shine gives up an experience edge to second-time starters I'll Prey For You, Diligent Prospect, and Littlebitofzip.

Our New Recruit back on track

Our New Recruit, who journeyed halfway around the world to score an upset in the $2 million Golden Shaheen on the Dubai World Cup undercard on March 27, was scheduled to return to trainer John Sadler's barn on Friday.

"We're looking forward to him coming back," Sadler said, while declining to elaborate on racing plans. Our New Recruit spent two months on the farm after returning from Dubai, and has won five races and more than $1.2 million.

The Sadler-trained sprinter Hasty Kris will skip the $75,000 Ack Ack Handicap on Sunday and take a shot July 3 in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap.

"The [sprint] division is a little beat up right now, and he's not far behind," Sadler said.

Hasty Kris has won six races and $371,037 from 34 starts. He earned a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure racing seven furlongs at Hollywood Park last June.

Sadler's upset winner of the Vanity Handicap, Victory Encounter, is aiming for the Grade 1 Milady Handicap on July 11.

Duncan bears watching

Trainer Leonard Duncan is rapidly becoming a friend to longshot bettors at Hollywood Park. He scored his second upset of the meet Thursday with 3-year-old claiming filly Okie Dokie Kookie, who paid $75 in race 1, crossing the wire a troubled second, then gaining the win via disqualification. It was Duncan's third win of the meet. His 2-year-old Bobby the Bagger paid $39 winning his debut April 22.

"I really couldn't believe [Okie Dokie Kookie] was overlaid at 35-1, and if the rail doesn't close on her, she goes right by those fillies," Duncan said.

Okie Dokie Kookie, 8-1 on the program, was rallying inside when pacesetter Mesa Ridge crossed over into her path. Okie Dokie Kookie steadied, jockey Mick Ruis angled her outside, and she finished well for second behind Kerwin John on Mesa Ridge, who was disqualified and placed second.

Duncan said Bobby the Bagger, who beat three subsequent winners (Mr. Fondue, Lotta Loot, and Swiss Address) in his debut, returns to training this weekend after missing the Westchester Stakes with a foot abscess. Bobby the Bagger will aim for the $75,000 Haggin Stakes June 20.