07/15/2007 11:00PM

Tiago in no rush to run with elders


DEL MAR, Calif. - Tiago, a sharp winner of the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday, is more likely to make his next start outside of California against 3-year-olds than meet older horses for the first time in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 19, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday.

Shirreffs said he and owners Jerry and Ann Moss and their racing manager, Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, John's wife, would discuss plans for Tiago in coming days. The most likely options are the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 25, the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 3, or the $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 22.

"There's no reason to push him," John Shirreffs said, explaining why Tiago is likely to stay in his own age group. "He's a maturing horse that will be a better 4-year-old."

A winner of 3 of 7 starts and $815,270, Tiago won his second stakes in the Swaps, rallying from fifth with a dashing stretch move along the rail to win by 2 1/2 lengths. The Swaps was his first stakes win since the Santa Anita Derby. In between, he finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Belmont Stakes.

Rob Roy moves toward Eddie Read Handicap

Rob Roy ran so well in his U.S. debut when finishing fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile that he was sent off as the favorite in the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park in his next start, but the effects of the long year caught up with him and he could only manage to finish fifth of 12 behind Ashkal Way.

The ever-patient Neil Drysdale has taken his time getting Rob Roy back to the races, but following a sharp workout on Del Mar's grass course Monday morning, Drysdale seemed inclined to bring back Rob Roy on Sunday in the Grade 1, $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap, which is expected to be topped by Whittingham Handicap winner After Market.

Rob Roy, with David Flores aboard for the work, split Angel Craft and Honette and finished in front of that pair while timed in 1:15 for six furlongs on firm turf. Orange cones, known as dogs, were up.

"The plan right now is to run him," Drysdale said. "But we haven't done a lot with him."

Also scheduled to run in the 1 1/8-mile Read is Out of Control, who won the American Handicap on June 30.

Worldly and Golden Balls target La Jolla

Worldly and Golden Balls, the first two finishers in the Grade 3 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 23, will not travel to Colonial Downs for the $1 million Virginia Derby on Saturday, their respective trainers said.

Both horses emerged from the Cinema with minor foot problems and are being pointed for the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf on Aug. 11, a key prep to the $400,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 2.

Worldly will have a workout later this week that will determine whether he can start in the La Jolla, trainer Ben Cecil said. He said that Worldly had a "warm foot" after the Cinema and he also was concerned about potentially warm weather in Virginia.

"It may be for the better because of the weather," Cecil said. "I was kind of concerned, so that made the decision a little easier. It's tough to pass up $1 million, but you have to be 110 percent."

Golden Balls, who won the La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year, has resumed training since the Cinema. On Monday he worked four furlongs in 51.60 seconds on the Del mar turf.

"I had to stop on him a little bit," trainer Jim Cassidy said. "Now he's going fine."

Sinister Minister may give turf a try

Sinister Minister is winless since his freakish 12 3/4-length victory in the 2006 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. His six losses since then include three races on conventional dirt and three on Hollywood Park's synthetic Cushion Track surface. On Monday at Del Mar, he worked a half-mile on turf in 48.80 seconds, a move that both trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Corey Nakatani thought good enough to merit a potential switch in surfaces next time.

"I just wanted to see if he liked the grass, because he sure didn't like the other stuff," Baffert said.

Also working on turf Monday was the 3-year-old Level Red, who went three furlongs in 38 seconds.

On the main track, E Z Warrior worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 in preparation for the Grade 1, $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap at six furlongs on July 29.

El Roblar and Right Special injured

El Roblar and Right Special, leading handicap horses at the Hollywood Park meeting that ended Sunday, have been sidelined by injury.

El Roblar, winner of the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap in June, was recently found to have a bone chip in an ankle, trainer Richard Mandella said.

Mandella said it was unclear whether the 5-year-old El Roblar would return to training or be retired. Owned by Jess Jackson, El Roblar has won 5 of 12 starts and $296,946, including a division of the 2005 Oceanside Stakes.

Right Special, who finished fifth in the Gradeo1 Shoemaker Mile and Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park, recently underwent surgery to have a bone chip removed from a knee, trainer Paulo Lobo said.

Lobo said the procedure went "very well" and that Right Special would be sidelined for several months.

Right Special has one victory in three starts since arriving from Brazil, an allowance race at Hollywood Park in April.

Ooh Yeah may go in Fleet Treat Stakes

Ooh Yeah, an 11-length maiden race winner at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton on July 8, has been privately acquired by IEAH Stables and is under consideration for Sunday's $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar, according to new trainer Don Chatlos.

Chatlos said Ooh Yeah was purchased from owner-trainer Brian Koriner after the maiden win. Chatlos would not disclose the purchase price. A filly, Ooh Yeah is by Dismissed and was purchased for $2,000 at the 2005 Northern California yearling sale.

Chatlos said Ooh Yeah's status for the Fleet Treat will depend on how she responds to her recent win and how she trains on Del Mar's synthetic surface.

"We'll see how she handles the track," he said. "If she's doing well, we won't be opposed to trying her. She's a California-bred and she's really fast. When she won, she was awesome."

The Fleet Treat is run over seven furlongs for 3-year-old California-bred fillies. Ooh Yeah has made two starts, having finished second in a $20,000 claiming race for maidens at Bay Meadows last November.

John Henry's groom returns to Del Mar

Jose Mercado, best known as the groom for John Henry during his two Horse of the Year campaigns in the early 1980s, is back at Del Mar after taking an extended vacation for knee surgery.

Mercado had worked in recent years as a groom for trainer Lewis Cenicola, who was John Henry's exercise rider, but Mercado on Monday said his knees can no longer take the punishment of bending down next to a horse in a stall, so he is working as a hot walker. He hooked on with trainer Craig Lewis after recently returning from Mexico.

"He just started working for me two months ago," Lewis said. "He's a real nice guy. We got lucky."

- additional reporting by Jay Privman