03/27/2002 12:00AM

Will he stay or will he go?


ARCADIA, Calif. - Mayakovsky breezed five furlongs in 58.60 seconds on Wednesday at Santa Anita, where he may make his next start.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said Mayakovsky is being considered for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6 as well as the $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct a week later. In his only start of the year, Mayakovsky won the Gotham Stakes over a mile around one turn at Aqueduct on March 17.

"I was not expecting him to recover so fast, put his weight back on as fast," Biancone said. "It's a possibility we'll stay here."

Biancone said plans will be determined after he speaks with owner Michael Tabor.

Mayakovsky's breeze was the fastest of 43 recorded works at the distance. He worked from the half-mile pole to the seven-eighths pole, which is on the first turn a furlong past the finish line, and finished in 59 seconds, according to Biancone.

"He drifted out a little last time," Biancone said. "I wanted to go farther than the winning post."

The addition of Mayakovsky to the Santa Anita Derby would add considerable depth to the field. Mayakovsky would likely be the second betting choice behind Came Home, the winner of the San Vicente Stakes and San Rafael Stakes at this meeting.

Last September at Saratoga, Came Home defeated Mayakovsky by two lengths in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes over 7 furlongs.

The Santa Anita Derby is run over 1 1/8 miles. Other probables include Danthebluegrassman, Easy Grades, Lusty Latin, Royal Gem, Tracemark, and U S S Tinosa. Royal Gem is unbeaten in two starts on turf for trainer Bobby Frankel, including the Academy Road Stakes on March 14. Fonz's and Holdthehelm are under consideration, but may be sent to races in the Midwest on April 13.

Val Royal pointed for Shoemaker Mile

Val Royal, who finished fifth in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes in the Middle East last Saturday, will be pointed for the $500,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park on May 27, trainer Julio Canani said.

The winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile last fall at Belmont Park, the 6-year-old Val Royal has lost both of his starts this year, including a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 2.

Canani said conditions at Nad Al Sheba racetrack - racing at night and being drawn wide on a turf course where the winners came from the inside - worked against Val Royal.

"The inside was much better than the outside," Canani said. "I think the lights got to him. You have to train at night and work horses at night."

Officer works for Cal-bred sprint stakes

Officer, the winner of the Champagne Stakes and Del Mar Futurity and the beaten favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year, worked seven furlongs in 1:24 on Wednesday.

Unraced since finishing third in the Hollywood Futurity last December, Officer is expected to start in the $100,000 Zany Tactics Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds on April 7. He returned to the racetrack in February after a brief vacation.

"He went nice," trainer Bob Baffert said of the workout. "He's back, but he was doing good when he left."

Run over 6 1/2 furlongs, the Zany Tactics is expected to attract Menacing Dennis, who is unbeaten in two starts but yet to make his stakes debut.

* Aldebaran, who won his main track debut by a convincing three lengths in a seven-furlong allowance race last Sunday, will reappear in the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 13 or the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Handicap on April 14, trainer Bobby Frankel said. Both races are over seven furlongs. The race that does not draw Aldebaran is expected to include Shibboleth, a stakes winner in Europe who finished second in an allowance race on turf in his U.S. debut on March 23.

* Roman Dancer is bound for the $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct on April 13, trainer Christopher Paasch said. Roman Dancer won his second stakes in the San Pedro Stakes last Saturday and will remain in sprints for the foreseeable future, Paasch said.

"I think going seven furlongs, there aren't a lot of horses that can stay with him," Paasch said.

* Baffert was fined $300 by track stewards on Wednesday after Favorite Funtime tested positive for an excessive amount of Butazolidin following her win in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap on Feb. 17. Favorite Funtime returned to finish sixth in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap on March 10.

* At Hollywood Park on Wednesday morning, the top older horse Freedom Crest worked a sharp six furlongs in 1:12.60, the best time of six at the distance. Chris McCarron was up. Richard Baltas, the trainer of Freedom Crest, said the gelding would run in the San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita on April 6, on the Santa Anita Derby undercard. "He went so easy," Baltas said. Freedom Crest suffers from anemia. "Sometimes he has a problem with his blood, but he's in really good shape now," Baltas said. McCarron will ride Freedom Crest unless Bosque Redondo goes in the San Bernardino, in which case Freedom Crest would need a different rider.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman