10/01/2008 12:00AM

Turf a better option for Idiot Proof


ARCADIA, Calif. - Idiot Proof, runner-up in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Sprint and the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai in March, is switching to the grass for the 2008 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Trainer Clifford Sise said Wednesday that Idiot Proof will make his next start in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside course. Sise was discouraged by Idiot Proof's fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes here last Saturday in his first start over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride synthetic track.

"He didn't care for the track at all," Sise said.

Owned by breeders Marty and Pam Wygod, Idiot Proof won the 2007 Ancient Title over Santa Anita's old Cushion Track surface, and was beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Midnight Lute in the BC Sprint, run over dirt at Monmouth. Winless in five starts this year, Idiot Proof was beaten nine lengths by Cost of Freedom in the Ancient Title last weekend. It was the first time this year that Idiot Proof finished worse than third.

A winner of 5 of 14 starts and $1,289,992, Idiot Proof has made one start on turf, finishing second by a length to Get Funky in the Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 13 in his first start since the Dubai race last March.

"His turf race wasn't that bad at Del Mar," Sise said. "I know he can get a hold of that track."

Get Funky is another contender for the Turf Sprint, which is being run for the first time this year.

Heat prompts Santa Anita to add water

Santa Anita began watering its synthetic main track on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to combat hot weather. According to track president Ron Charles, the watering was scheduled to be done periodically through the afternoon, a day in which temperatures were expected to rise to 104.

Temperatures were in the mid-90s at lunchtime. The track was watered before racing and again after the second race.

Santa Anita had not watered its Pro-Ride synthetic track since it was installed in late August. The track experienced warm weather in the first five days of racing at the current Oak Tree meeting, from Sept. 24-28. Jockeys said the surface was quite warm during that time.

"We're watering it to cool it off," Charles said. "I think we'll test it and see how long it holds up. We'll play it by ear and water when we see it needs it. We don't expect to see much of a change in the surface."

Temperatures are expected to be cooler by the weekend.

'Synnin' may wait for Hollywood

Synnin and Grinnin was brilliant in turf sprints at Del Mar this summer, going undefeated in three starts. She has yet to run at the Oak Tree meet and won't this weekend, even though there are two suitable races for her.

Owner Brad Penny, the star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and trainer Howard Zucker, had the $100,00 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap on Saturday or the $150,000 California Cup Distaff for statebred females on Sunday as options. Zucker said he wants to wait for a shorter race, and one that is not run on a course as quirky as Santa Anita's hillside, which features a right-hand turn after two furlongs and a crossing over the main track from the hillside turf course to the oval portion of the turf course.

"She's really erratic when she doesn't have a rail to follow," Zucker said. "I don't trust her going over the crossing."

Synnin and Grinnin is in the best form of her career, having won five consecutive starts. The streak began in a claiming race for maidens and continued in a starter allowance, two optional claimers, and the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 3. The latter three races were over five furlongs on turf.

Zucker said he hopes to start Synnin and Grinning in a six-furlong turf sprint at Hollywood Park this fall.

"We've had so much luck at five furlongs," he said. "I want to keep the distance down."

The Cal Cup Distaff always draws a large field. This year, there are 57 nominations, including America's Friend, the winner of the Solana Beach Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 17. The 4-year-old filly was eighth in the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 30.

The Distaff is one of eight major stakes for California-breds on Sunday's California Cup program. In addition, there are two $50,000 starter races for horses that have run in claiming races this year.

Trainer Barry Abrams has a probable starter in the day's richest race, the $250,000 Classic over 1 1/8 miles in Add Heat. Add Heat was second in the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 1, finishing 2 1/4 lengths behind Albertus Maximus. Last Saturday, Albertus Maximus finished third in the Grade 1 Goodwood Handicap here.

Super Strut retired

Super Strut, the winner of the 2006 Crystal Water Handicap, has been retired because of an ankle injury, trainer Ben Cecil said.

A winner of 8 of 41 starts and $609,782, Super Strut, 8, was owned by Tom and Lynne Miller, Roger Featherston, and Lou Giordano at the end of his career. The owners said in a statement released on Wednesday that they are seeking a retirement home for the gelding.

Super Strut was trained by Craig Dollase for much of his career. In 2006, Super Strut won 2 of 8 starts and earned $226,190, the most lucrative season of his career. Aside from the win in the Crystal Water Handicap, Super Strut finished third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap during that season.

The current owners and Cecil claimed Super Strut for $25,000 earlier this year. He made two starts for them, winning and finishing second.

* Jockey Garrett Gomez, who led the standings here after the first five days of the meeting, has dropped an appeal of a three-day suspension issued to him for careless riding at Del Mar in August, the stewards announced in a ruling. In a new ruling, the stewards suspended Gomez from Oct. 9-11.