11/21/2003 1:00AM

Yankee Gentleman's career is over


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Yankee Gentleman, a stakes winner at Del Mar during the summer who was unplaced in two Grade 1 stakes last month at Santa Anita, has been retired after he was found to have a suspensory injury to his right foreleg, owner Marty Wygod said Friday.

Yankee Gentleman was in training for Thursday's $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park when the injury was detected.

Wygod said that Yankee Gentleman will stand at stud in Kentucky and that negotiations with farms were continuing.

Yankee Gentleman won 4 of 10 starts and $202,547, racing on the East Coast for trainer Bill Mott in 2002 and in California this year for John Shirreffs.

At Del Mar earlier this year, Yankee Gentleman won the restricted Pirate's Bounty Handicap over six furlongs by five lengths, but he failed to replicate that performance in the fall.

He finished fourth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap on Oct. 5 and was fifth at 10-1 in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 25, finishing five lengths behind upset winner Cajun Beat.

Wygod said Yankee Gentleman battled leg problems through the fall. The decision to retire him was accelerated when the 4-year-old returned from a recent workout showing signs of distress.

"He came back with a tiny bit of filling," Wygod said. "We didn't want to take any chances."

Stanley Park has outside shot in derby

Shirreffs has an outside contender for the $600,000 Hollywood Derby next Sunday with Stanley Park, the winner of the Grade 3 Bay Meadows Derby on Nov. 1.

A winner of 3 of 7 starts for Jerry and Ann Moss, Stanley Park scored his first stakes win in the Bay Meadows Derby, over 1 1/8 miles on turf, rallying from sixth to win by 2 1/2 lengths. The style of the victory suggests that Stanley Park will be suited to the Hollywood Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles on turf.

"He made a big sustained run and was pulling away at the end," Shirreffs said. "We always thought he'd be better going longer."

The Hollywood Derby will be run for the 63rd time next weekend. From 1981 until last year, the race was run at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Most of the early runnings ranged from 1 1/4 miles on dirt to 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Stanley Park beat 10 opponents when he rallied from ninth to win a maiden race here in May.

The derby is likely to draw a full field of 14. The other probables are Alberto Giacometti, Bis Repetitas, Buckland Manor, Californian, Fairly Ransom, Fortune Writers, Kicken Kris, Senor Swinger, Sign of the Wolf, Silver Tree, Sweet Return, Urban King, and Willard Straight. If one of those horses is withdrawn, several other candidates are looking for a spot in the gate.

Fairly Ransom, the winner of the Del Mar Derby, is likely to go favored.

Dollase sending Irish Warrior to Citation

The Hollywood Derby is the most lucrative stakes in the six-race Autumn Turf Festival, which comprises two stakes daily from Friday through Sunday.

The $400,000 Citation Handicap on Saturday over 1 1/16 miles on turf will include Irish Warrior, who was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. He could give trainer Wally Dollase a record fifth victory in the Citation.

The Nov. 30 program includes the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes at a mile on turf for older fillies and mares. The race is expected to draw an outstanding field, including French stakes winner Etoile Montante, Maiden Tower, and Mer de Corail. They will face a domestic team that includes defending champion Dress to Thrill, Belleski, Heat Haze, and possibly Island Fashion, the winner of the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga during the summer.

Kalookan Lady joins Gill-Canani stable

One of the most impressive winners this week at Hollywood Park changed hands via the claim box on Thursday.

Kalookan Lady won a six-furlong race for 2-year-old maiden claimers in Thursday's sixth race and was taken for $62,500 by owner Michael Gill. She will now be trained by Nick Canani, who has assembled a 35-horse stable for Gill at Hollywood Park.

Kalookan Lady led throughout the sprint, drawing away to finish in 1:11.12. She won for owner-breeder Luis Asisto and trainer Doug O'Neill, who was philosophical about losing the filly.

"You never like to lose them when they win like that," he said. "At the same time, you won't confuse any of the horses behind her with an Eoin Harty or Bob Baffert purchase.

"She's a nice filly, but I think we ran her in the right spot."

Canani was not discouraged by the clocking, which came over a main track that produced moderate times on Wednesday and Thursday.

"She went in 1:11, but they dug the track up on Tuesday and it's been dead for two days," Canani said. "She's definitely a talented filly. Who knows where we go from here? It looks like she'll go two turns."

Canani did not rule out a start in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 21, but said it was unlikely. He said an assessment of the field in the days before the race would contribute to the decision.

"I've always been known to nominate to everything," he said. "Races fall apart here real easy. People don't ship out here. We're like a little island here."

Del Mar forwards record payment to state

Del Mar has paid the state of California more than $11.8 million, a record, from revenue generated at the 2003 meeting as part of an agreement in which the racetrack forwards profits to the state.

According to a statement released by the track, Del Mar paid $7.72 million in rent payments to the state and earned $4.14 million in food and beverage sales.

In 2002, Del Mar paid the state $10.1 million.

This year, Del Mar had an average overall daily handle of $13,274,306, an increase of 7.5 percent. The ontrack daily attendance grew by 8.8 percent.

The track is operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on the grounds of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which receives profits from the summertime race meeting.