11/30/2005 12:00AM

Whilly won't go to Hong Kong

After testing positive for an anabolic steroid in a prerace screening, Whilly (left) will no longer travel to Hong Kong for this month's Hong Kong Cup.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Whilly, the winner of three turf stakes in the last year, had his trip to the $2.3 million Hong Kong Cup later this month canceled after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid in a prerace test required by Hong Kong officials, trainer Doug O'Neill said.

O'Neill said the steroid, which was administered in October, could have cleared Whilly's system before an additional prerace test was conducted, but O'Neill did not want to take any chances of shipping the 4-year-old and having another positive occur.

Hong Kong has a zero tolerance for anabolic steroids. In the event that Whilly had tested positive again, the cost of traveling to Hong Kong would not have been paid by the host organization, but would have been billed to the owner, Triple B Farms.

"It's a legal medication here," O'Neill said. "I'm not pleased to say I use it. It helps the horses recover from strenuous exercise."

As a result of the situation, Whilly will be pointed for the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 1.

"Whilly is a nice horse and it would have been a tough race," O'Neill said of the Hong Kong trip.

Whilly was second in the Clement Hirsch Handicap at Santa Anita in October, but was disqualified and placed fifth for causing interference in the final furlong. Whilly, 4, won the Sir Beaufort Stakes last December, the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in January, and the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park in July.

Group seeks national weight changes

A group of California racing officials will introduce a proposal next week for racetracks nationwide to increase the published weight that a jockey carries to include safety equipment such as vest, goggles, helmet, and overgirth. The proposal will be presented at the University of Arizona's Racing Symposium in Tucson, Ariz.

Currently, a jockey's safety equipment is not included in the published weight, meaning that horses carry several pounds of equipment that is not counted. This year, California tracks have started publishing notices in track programs, informing racegoers that published weights do not include safety equipment and some tack.

The latest proposal was finalized at a 90-minute ad-hoc meeting at Hollywood Park on Wednesday attended by jockeys, trainers, and racing officials.

The proposal discussed at that meeting would increase the published figure by approximately five to six pounds and would exclude only a few items that a horse carries, including jockey silks, saddle cloth, channel girth, and chamois.

Officials insisted that the proposal would not change the scale of weights, a point that trainers have spoken out against at recent meetings.

"We have to say to the trainers, 'We're disclosing what you are already carrying,' " said CHRB commissioner Richard Shapiro, who directed the meeting.

The officials decided to present the proposal at next week's meetings in Arizona in an effort to attract nationwide support. They opted not to try such a plan solely in California in an effort to avoid confusion for horsemen and bettors in other parts of the country.

"I think it's important for other states to go along," said Santa Anita president Ron Charles.

If officials in other states support the proposal, the plan would require a change in California Horse Racing Board rules, which would take several months.

Giacomo has second timed work

Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds Wednesday at Hollywood Park.

Unraced since finishing seventh in the Belmont Stakes in June, Giacomo had surgery later that month to have bone chips removed from an ankle and knee. He is being pointed for a return in the first few weeks of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which opens on Dec. 26.

Shirreffs said he wants to give Giacomo a start in an allowance race before trying stakes such as the Strub on Feb. 4.

Wednesday's workout was Giacomo's second timed drill since he returned to serious training. During the workout, Giacomo started slowly but quickened visibly on the turn under exercise rider Frankie Herrarte.

"He started off easy and he picked it up," Shirreffs said.

Between his first recorded workout last week and Wednesday's workout, Giacomo jogged 1 1/4 miles and galloped 1 3/8 miles on most days.

"Week by week and day by day, he's getting closer, and then the race will be here," Shirreffs said.

Alphabet Kisses, Jet West to sit out

The stakes winners Alphabet Kisses and Jet West will not start in stakes at Hollywood Park this weekend, their respective trainers said Wednesday.

Alphabet Kisses, the winner of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes in 2004, will miss Sunday's Cat's Cradle Handicap for statebred fillies and mares at 7 1/2 furlongs. Alphabet Kisses was supposed to make her first start in nearly four months in the Cat's Cradle Handicap, but will now be pointed for the Santa Anita meeting, trainer Marty Jones said.

"We're not going to run," he said. "I don't think she's quite ready. She could use a little more time getting back."

The absence of Alphabet Kisses makes House of Fortune the leading candidate in the Cat's Cradle.

Jet West would have been a top contender in Saturday's $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes at six furlongs, but trainer Ted H. West has opted to wait for Santa Anita. Jet West has won three consecutive races, including the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 6.

West said that the 4-year-old colt will be pointed for the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap at 5 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Jan. 2. Jet West is based at Santa Anita.

"I have some trouble with horses handling that surface," West said of Hollywood Park. "I'd rather run him on his home track."

Without Jet West, the Underwood will have a short-priced favorite in Captain Squire, the winner of the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita in October.