09/03/2004 12:00AM

Translation: Blackdoun fit

Email
Horsephotos
Domestic Dispute (left) comes onto the track Friday morning. He will make his second start since traveling to Dubai last March in Sunday's Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Julio Canani speaks English. Sort of. But you still need a translator. When he goes on intertrack television and says, "I don't bet," that means he cashed. When he calls a horse a "cucaracha," that means the horse can run. And when he says after a work that a horse "galloped good," wait to see if he subsequently smiles, which means everything went perfectly.

Friday morning at Del Mar, he cracked a smile, a big one, after Blackdoun had his final workout in preparation for Monday's Grade 2, $400,000 Del Mar Derby. Blackdoun effortlessly covered a half-mile in 50.80 seconds on a firm turf course. Orange cones, known as dogs, were up.

"He galloped good," Canani said, before breaking into a smile.

Blackdoun has won both his starts in this country since arriving from France. He captured a division of the opening-day Oceanside Stakes, then won the La Jolla Handicap. Corey Nakatani is his rider.

"I told Corey before his first race I didn't know how fit he was, because he had never worked in company," Canani said. "At Hollywood, he would look at the grandstand when he worked, so I put a little blinker on him so he would pay attention. I wanted him to go straight, not fast. He ran so well that the second time, going into the La Jolla, I didn't do nothing for him. He's a horse that doesn't need that much training to stay in shape."

Blackdoun is expected to be the favorite in the derby, which will have a full field of 10. Other top contenders for the race include French import Fast and Furious, Laura's Lucky Boy, Semi Lost, Terroplane, and Toasted.

Humberto Ascanio, the Del Mar-based assistant to trainer Bobby Frankel, said only Sujimoto would represent the barn. Greek Sun will pass the derby and is expected to run in next Saturday's Man o' War at Belmont. Sujimoto worked three furlongs on the dirt on Friday in 37.20 seconds.

Big meet for Gary Mandella

Richard Mandella may have won the biggest race of the meet with Pleasantly Perfect in the $1 million Pacific Classic, but his son, Gary, has won more races. With just 11 starters, Gary Mandella has three victories, and seven of his runners have finished in the money. It's a significant improvement from Holly-wood Park, where Mandella was 2 for 24.

"It's the strangest thing," Mandella said at his barn Friday morning. "I stay at Hollywood year-round, and had my worst meet of the year there. I come down here, where you can't win conditioned races because they're too tough, and I've won three."

Mandella has eight horses at Del Mar, and has kept the remaining 20 at Hollywood Park. He received a nice boost when Joe Albritton, who races as Lazy Lane Farms and has a summer home in La Jolla, Calif., sent Mandella some runners from the Midwest. One of them, the filly Moonlight Cruise, won an entry-level turf allowance race on Wednesday. Another, the colt Colonial Reign, finished second in a first-level allowance race on Aug. 8 and should be one of the top choices in Sunday's first race.

"Mr. Albritton was kind enough to give me the opportunity," Mandella said. "He had horses with my father in the past, and remembered me when I was his assistant."

Mandella said Colonial Reign should appreciate the extra furlong of Sunday's first race. He is stretching out from a mile to 1 1/8 miles.

"Nobody chased the winner last time until it was too late," Mandella said. "My colt is by Exploit, which everybody figures is speed, but people forget that he's a half-brother to Prized, who won the Breeders' Cup Turf. Plus this horse is from the family of Sky Classic, so there's a lot of turf in him."

Mandella's other wins this meet were with Pragmatico, who captured a five-furlong turf allowance race on Monday, and Reckless Hero, who returned from a brief layoff to beat entry-level allowance sprinters on Aug. 25.

Elloluv ends long drought

Elloluv returned to the winner's circle for the first time since April 2003 with a 2 1/2-length victory in Thursday's $76,000 Piedra Found-ation Handicap for older fillies and mares.

Elloluv dipped into the restricted stakes race after facing Grade 1 and Grade 2 company in every start since beating maidens. She sat second behind pacesetter Saintly Persuasion for the first six furlongs of the race, seized the lead coming into the stretch, and steadily drew away under Nakatani.

Letra de Cambio rallied for second. Saintly Persuasion tired and finished another 2 1/2 lengths back in third.

Elloluv ($4.20) was timed in 1:35.78 for one mile on the fast main track. Craig Dollase trains the 4-year-old filly for owner Paul Reddam.

The most logical next stop for Elloluv would be the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap on Oct. 3 during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Summer Wind Dancer, who captured the Delaware Handicap in July, will make her next start in the Lady's Secret, trainer Jeff Mullins said Friday. Summer Wind Dancer had been nominated to Sunday's Solana Beach Handicap, but she was not entered.

Stevens back in town

Gary Stevens left Paris on Thursday morning, got to Los Angeles on Thursday night, went to his Sierra Madre home, unpacked his bags, packed a few items for the final days of Del Mar, and motored on down.

Friday morning, he was making the rounds of the stables after working one horse while getting ready to ride that afternoon's races.

"It's good to be back," Stevens said after spending the past four months in France.

Stevens is named to ride four horses on Sunday's card, including Rushin' to Altar in the Grade 2, $250,000 San Diego Handicap.

* The unbeaten Chandtrue, who has not raced since capturing the Hollywood Juvenile Championship seven weeks ago, tuned up for Wednesday's Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity with a five-furlong drill in 59.80 seconds on Friday morning for trainer Bob Hess Jr. The Futurity is expected to be headed by the unbeaten Roman Ruler, who won the Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 15.

* Other works Friday included The Tin Man, who is scheduled to run in the $75,000 Live the Dream Handicap at one mile on turf on Wednesday. He worked five furlongs on dirt in 1:01.80 for trainer Richard Mandella.