12/05/2001 12:00AM

Tout Charmant and Starrer opt for Bayakoa not Dahlia

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Concern about the condition of the Hollywood Park turf course has led two trainers to point their top-class fillies and mares to the Bayakoa Handicap on Dec. 15 instead of the Dahlia Handicap on turf the same day.

Tout Charmant, a multiple stakes winner who has not run on dirt since June 1999, and Starrer, who was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont Park on Oct. 27, are being pointed for the Bayakoa. Both the Bayakoa and Dahlia are run over 1 1/16 miles and are worth $150,000.

Tout Charmant and Starrer were entered and scratched from the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes on turf on Nov. 25, a weekend plagued by rain.

Trainer Ron McAnally said he is unlikely to start Tout Charmant in the Dahlia after the recent deaths of Spook Express and Sweet Defense in turf races. Tout Charmant is scheduled to be bred to Storm Cat early next year.

"I'm thinking seriously about the Bayakoa, especially with the way the turf course is," McAnally said. "You have to consider what has happened in the last few weeks."

A 5-year-old, Tout Charmant has won five stakes and $1,622,879, but has never won a stakes on dirt. She was second to Excellent Meeting in two Grade 1's in 1999 - the Las Virgenes Stakes and Santa Anita Oaks.

Starrer was to make her turf debut in the Matriarch - until rain fell the preceding day during racing. Trainer Davis Hofmans said he walked the course before the Matriarch and was not satisfied with the condition.

"I thought it sustained serious damage," Hofmans said.

Robert Toma, the turf course superintendent at Hollywood Park, acknowledged that the course has needed extra attention because of the recent weather. He said he planned to roll the course after racing finished on Wednesday to even out areas "that are a little bumpy."

In recent days, Toma said that he and his staff have filled in holes caused by divots, attempting to preserve the course. "I'll put in dry soil and then the kick off grass goes in on top of that," Toma said.

Toma said the course was not used on Wednesday because more than a half-inch of rain fell during two storms on Monday. "It was back to back, too fast," Toma said. "If we don't have any more rain, we'll be all right."

Turf stakes winding down

There are only three more turf stakes scheduled for the fall meeting, which concludes on Dec. 17.

Saturday's Waya Handicap at 1 1/2 miles for fillies and mares is expected to draw Boismorand, Built to Last, Gleefully, Keemoon, Nepenthe, and The Parting Glass.

Boismorand finished eighth in the Matriach Stakes. She was entered for the Hollywood Turf Cup last Saturday, but was scratched. A Group 3 stakes winner in France earlier this year, she is scheduled to be bred in Kentucky next year.

Aside from the Dahlia, the $70,000 Dayjur Handicap over 5 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 17 is the final turf stakes of the meeting.

Renaissance Starlet

Renaissance Woman, a maiden winner over 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 30, is being considered for the $200,000 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 16, trainer Simon Bray said.

Owned by Marty and Pam Wygod, Renaissance Woman won by three lengths in her second career start. You, the winner of the Frizette Stakes, is the top contender in a field expected to include Habibti, Tali'sluckybusride and Unforgettable R.N.

"If the field comes up short, we'll take a shot," Bray said. "If we finish third in a Group 1, it would be as good as winning a listed race."

Millennium Wind works

Millennium Wind, the Blue Grass Stakes winner who finished last in the Skywalker Handicap at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 on Wednesday, preparing for the $200,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

"I think we can make it," Hofmans said. "I think we can get four more works in him."

The Skywalker was Millennium Wind's first start since finishing 11th in the Kentucky Derby.

I Love Silver, the winner of the Skywalker, worked five furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:03.40 on Wednesday. Trained by Dean Greenman, I Love Silver won his first stakes in the Skywalker.

* Elvis Trujillo, the 18-year-old apprentice jockey who won his first race in the United States on Nov. 28, has returned to Central America to straighten out immigration papers, according to his agent, Bill Barisoff. Trujillo is expected to return to California in the next week, Barisoff said. "He should have no complications," Barisoff said. "We're straightening out a few things that had to be done." Before riding in California, the Panamian-born Trujillo was based in Mexico City.