03/26/2002 12:00AM

Tout Charmant heads to breeding shed

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Tout Charmant, one of the top female turf runners of the last two years, was retired and sent to Kentucky on Monday to be bred, trainer Ron McAnally said.

Owned by Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, Tout Charmant finished fourth in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap last Saturday at Santa Anita in her final career start. She was beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Golden Apples. In January, she as a convincing two-length winner of the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap.

McAnally said the 6-year-old Tout Charmant emerged from the Santa Ana in good shape but that Stonerside wants her as part of its broodmare band. Last week, Stonerside announced that two of its prominent broodmares - Halory and Banker's Lady - had died this month after foaling.

"I think the big thing wasn't that she didn't run as well as before, but they lost two of their mares," McAnally said. "They were able to save the foals. I'm sure that was on their mind because they need some sort of replacement.

"She's couldn't have been doing better," he said. "Her coat looks good and she retires sound."

Tout Charmant won 8 of 27 starts and $1,721,897. Initially, she raced for her breeders, Robert and Barbara Walter, for whom she won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in 1999, the same year she finished second in the Santa Anita Oaks on dirt.

In early 2000, Tout Charmant was acquired privately by Stonerside Stable. At the start of the year, she was transferred from Bob Baffert to McAnally.

Tout Charmant had her best year in 2000, winning 3 of 7 starts, including the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes. She was second in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs, losing by three-quarters of a length to Perfect Sting.

By Slewvescent, Tout Charmant overcame a severe bout with colic to resume racing last year, but was winless in three starts. The San Gorgonio was the sixth stakes win of her career.

"She's been a good asset to our barn, one of the best fillies I've ever had," McAnally said.

Danthebluegrassman disappoints

Santa Anita Derby contender Danthebluegrassman worked seven furlongs in 1:25.80, but the style of the work was not what trainer Baffert wanted.

The winner of the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby in January, Danthebluegrassman worked in company with Bay Head King (1:24.80) and Skip to the Stone (1:25), and raced behind them throughout.

"I was trying to see if he'd relax behind those horses, but he was too keen," Baffert said. "Dan wants to roll. They went off slow, he got a little rank, and didn't finish as strong."

A winner of 3 of 7 starts, Danthebluegrassman was second to Yougottawanna by three-quarters of a length in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in March 9. It was his first loss in a stakes race. Besides winning the Golden Gate Derby, Danthebluegrassman won the Gold Rush Stakes last December.

In all three stakes, Danthebluegrassman was on or near the lead throughout. That is unlikely to change in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 6, Baffert said.

"We know he can run, but we wanted him to do something different," Baffert said. "He didn't go for it."

Danthebluegrassman is expected to be the second betting choice in the Santa Anita Derby behind Came Home, the winner of two stakes at the Santa Anita meeting. Other probables include Easy Grades, Fonz's, Lusty Latin, and U S S Tinosa.

Trainer Ted West said that Gary Stevens will ride Easy Grades in the Santa Anita Derby. Easy Grades finished second to Came Home in the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes in his stakes debut on March 2.

Kalatiara goes turf to dirt

Stonerside Stable and McAnally will start Kalatiara in Sunday's $75,000 Santa Lucia Handicap, the first time the mare will race on dirt.

Kalatiara won the Grade 3 Royal Heroine Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park last July in her U.S. debut, but has lost four starts since. McAnally dismissed her fifth-place finish in an allowance race on the hillside turf course on Feb. 3, citing an entrapped epiglottis that hurt her breathing.

"She's been really training well on the dirt," he said.

Run over 1 1/16 miles, the Santa Lucia is restricted to fillies and mares who have not won a first-place purse of $50,000 at a mile or over this year.

The field for Kalatiara's race is expected to include Alexine, Cashmina, De Goddaughter, La Ronge, Secret Liaison, Slapstick, and Stormy Society.

- The main race of the weekend is Saturday's $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs. Snow Ridge, the winner of three sprints at this meeting, is passing in favor of the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 13.