11/15/2002 1:00AM

Tizbud finally blossoms

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Tizbud might have disappointed in his first two starts, but the promise at which he had hinted in his training was on full display Thursday at Hollywood Park, when he scored an overpowering maiden victory that had trainer John Sadler looking forward to the upcoming months.

Because Tizbud was bred in California, he is eligible to the Sunshine Millions, a series of races on Jan. 25 at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park that will pit California-breds against Florida-breds. The day's richest race is worth $1 million, and Sadler envisions Tizbid making that race should he continue to progress.

"I was tickled with the way he ran," Sadler said. "I'm thinking of running him in the Sunshine Millions, with one conditioned allowance race between then. We'll also take a look at the Strub Series."

Tizbud rolled to a six-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile race for maidens, in the quick time of 1:42.40 on a fast but dull track. He is a full brother (Cee's Tizzy out of Cee's Song, by Seattle Song) to Tiznow, a two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner, and the popular gelding Budroyale, who was a multiple stakes winner.

Castle Gandolfo in Dollase barn

Castle Gandolfo was the "other" colt trainer Aidan O'Brien brought to this year's Kentucky Derby, which he tried to win with Johannesburg, last year's champion 2-year-old colt.

Johannesburg has since been retired, but Castle Gandolfo is about to embark on Act 2 of his career. He was purchased privately by owner Paul Reddam, was turned over to trainer Craig Dollase, and is training at Hollywood Park in preparation for a full American campaign.

"We purchased him from Coolmore," Dollase said, referring to the powerhouse Irish outfit, run by John Magnier, for whom O'Brien trains. "We got him about a month ago. He's got all the qualities of a good horse."

Castle Gandolfo could race in the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Derby on the turf on Dec. 1. Dollase said he would like to move Castle Gandolfo to the dirt for next year's Strub Series, exclusively for 4-year-olds, during Santa Anita's winter meeting.

Puype returns with public stable

Mike Puype, who for the past six years has trained privately for the Cobra Farms of owner Gary Biszantz, has returned to Southern California and will have a public stable, including horses for Biszantz.

Puype had been based in Southern California for most of his time with Biszantz, and had also spent time in Kentucky. He returned to Hollywood Park three weeks ago.

"I'll be taking outside horses for the first time since 1996," Puype said. "I know a lot of people are leaving this area, and there's a lot of obstacles with the worker's compensation insurance, but I feel that if the issues aren't settled, there will be no racing, so I'm confident the issues will be resolved.

"I'll still have horses for Gary, but I've got horses for other clients, too. I'm looking to stay here year-round. I've got some horses with conditions. I'm hoping to do some good."

Puype said he currently has seven runners, including One for Harry and Woody Haze. He had starters both Thursday and Friday at Hollywood Park.

Bella Bellucci points for Santa Anita

The top 3-year-old filly Bella Bellucci is back in training at Hollywood Park, pointing for Santa Anita's seven-furlong La Brea Stakes at the end of December.

Bella Bellucci entered 2002 as one of the top-ranked members of her class, but she had an abbreviated campaign that included missed assignments in high-profile races like the Kentucky Oaks. After finishing third in the Gazelle Handicap at Belmont Park, her trainer, Neil Drysdale, decided to abandon plans for the Breeders' Cup Distaff and point for a new season.

"She wasn't doing well after the Gazelle," Drysdale said. "I didn't like the way she ran in the Gazelle. We trained her towards the Beldame, but she wasn't doing well. She's got all her weight back on now, and she's doing well. She's not easy to train."

- Larry Barrera, the son of the late Hall of Fame trainer Laz Barrera, has returned to training. He has four horses for owner Aaron Jones, including the allowance-class filly Balcovy.

- The rich get richer: Juddmonte Farms has sent to trainer Bobby Frankel several runners who had been based in Europe this year, including Heat Haze, a listed stakes winner who is a half-sister to the top-class turf mare Banks Hill.

- Final Destination, a stakes-winning filly from Australia, is nearing her United States debut for Frankel. She worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds Friday morning.

- The stakes-winning filly Bella Bella Bella is now trained by Simon Bray, who said he is pointing Bella Bella Bella to the $100,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap on Nov. 24. Bella Bella Bella had been trained previously by Jenine Sahadi, then Drysdale.

- Let's Cruise, who was scheduled to return from a lengthy layoff in Sunday's Safely Kept Handicap, bowed a tendon and likely will be retired, Bray said.