12/09/2003 12:00AM

Tough field takes shape for On Trust


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After winning three consecutive stakes against 3-year-olds in August and September, Excess Summer found racing more difficult when he made his stakes debut against older horses in the Seabiscuit Handicap at Santa Anita in late October.

Sent off at 9-2, Excess Summer led to early stretch before fading to finish ninth in a field of 11. The loss diminished the status of the former maiden claimer, who can redeem himself against rival California-breds in Saturday's $95,000 On Trust Handicap at Hollywood Park.

"He's got to be in the right spot," trainer Jeff Mullins said. "He's a good horse, but he's not a great horse. You put him in with Cal-breds and he can be pretty tough."

Run over 7 1/2 furlongs, the On Trust is expected to draw a strong field, including Calkins Road, Coconut Mango, Green Team, Grey Memo, Hot Market, Kedington, and Ride and Shine.

Grey Memo is the 120-pound topweight but has not won in 12 starts since the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in August 2002. One horse likely to draw support is the gelding Green Team, the winner of the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 8.

Excess Summer will carry 119 pounds and be ridden by Julie Krone. She was aboard for his three stakes wins earlier this year - the Real Good Deal and El Cajon at Del Mar and the Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park.

Excess Summer set the pace in his last three starts, but he stalked a fast pace in the seven-furlong Real Good Deal. Mullins has thrown out the Seabiscuit, saying, "He ran back too soon." The race came four weeks after the Pomona Derby.

The seven-week gap between the Seabiscuit and the On Trust Handicap should help Excess Summer, but, conversely, he faces an outstanding field on Saturday.

Sunday's main race is the $95,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares over 7 1/2 furlongs. Summer Wind Dancer, second in the California Cup Matron on Nov. 8, faces Bold Badgett, Brite Betty, Super High, Tucked Away, and Valentine Dancer.

Our New Recruit points for Golden Shaheen

Our New Recruit, the runner-up in the Vernon Underwood Stakes over six furlongs on Thanksgiving, is a candidate for the $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint in Dubai in March, trainer John Sadler said.

Sadler and owner CRK Stable plan to start Our New Recruit in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap over six furlongs at Santa Anita on Feb. 1 as a prep to the six-furlong Golden Shaheen.

"You might as well take a shot at that money," Sadler said of the Dubai race. "I don't feel he's that far from the top of the division."

In the Underwood, Our New Recruit fought for the lead with Avanzado for the first half-mile and took the lead in early stretch. He was caught by Watchem Smokey in the final 100 yards and lost by a length.

Avanzado finished second in the Golden Shaheen earlier this year and remains a candidate for the 2004 running.

Shin injury may knock Tizbud out of Millions

Tizbud, the upset winner of the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 8, is only jogging this week after reaggravating a shin injury last weekend, Sadler said.

The injury may jeopardize Tizbud's participation in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita on Jan. 24.

"It's still on our mind somewhat," Sadler said. "I won't say it's off. We'll just jog him for 10 days and go up from there."

Tarlow out of training after ankle surgery

Tarlow, who was second in the Grade 2 Oak Leaf Stakes and ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita this fall, is out of training after recently undergoing surgery to have bone chips removed from both ankles, trainer John Shirreffs said.

Shirreffs said Tarlow will be out of training for at least 90 days.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Tarlow won her career debut at Del Mar in August before finishing 4 1/2 lengths behind top 2-year-old Halfbridled in the Oak Leaf.

Shirreffs plans to start Hollywood Story in the Starlet Stakes on Dec. 21. Hollywood Story finished fourth in the Juvenile Fillies after a second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and third in the Oak Leaf.

Other candidates for the Grade 1 Starlet over 1 1/16 miles are Dixie High, House of Fortune, Silent Sighs, and Victory U. S. A. The winner of the Moccasin Stakes last month, Victory U. S. A. worked six furlongs in 1:13 at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said he might start Rings and Things or Whoopi Cat. Salty Romance, the winner of the Delta Princess Stakes in Louisiana last Friday, will not start in the Starlet and is being pointed for the Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 4.

Paths set for Olmodavor and Star Parade

Olmodavor and Star Parade, winners of graded stakes at Hollywood Park last weekend, will reappear at Santa Anita in the next few months.

Olmodavor gave trainer Richard Mandella a record seventh win in the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap on Saturday. The Native Diver was Olmodavor's first stakes win.

Mandella said he has the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap as a long-term goal for the 4-year-old Olmodavor, with preps likely in the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap on Jan. 3 and the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap on Jan. 31.

Star Parade, who upset Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Adoration in Sunday's Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap, is being pointed for the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 16, trainer Darrell Vienna said.

The Grade 1 Santa Maria is also a goal for Adoration, trainer David Hofmans said.

Marino Marini to debut on dirt in Malibu

Marino Marini will make his next start in the $250,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26 after winning an allowance race over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.

Acquired during the summer by Tom and Nancy Clark's Rancho San Miguel, Marino Marini was previously trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien. A minor stakes winner at 2, Marino Marini placed in two sprint stakes in Ireland last spring before he was sold.

The Malibu Stakes is run at seven furlongs on the main track for 3-year-olds. Marino Marini has yet to start on dirt.