DEL MAR, Calif. -- Surf Cat, who finished second in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 7, is being strongly considered for Sunday's $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar, trainer Bruce Headley said.
Headley is anxious to get Surf Cat a Grade 1 win and was frustrated that the 5-year-old horse was beaten a head by Bilo in the seven-furlong Triple Bend after encountering trouble in early stretch.
The Triple Bend was Surf Cat's first start since May 2006, a layoff caused by concern over his ankles and feet, which were bothersome but did not require surgery.
"He came out it great," Headley said. "With the type of foundation he had, they come out better. We were unlucky to lose."
A winner of 7 of 12 starts and $622,420, Surf Cat has won four stakes for Marsha Naify and Headley's wife, Aase. Surf Cat has proven to be effective in sprints, winning the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap over seven furlongs in February 2006, and at longer distances, winning the Grade 2 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park in July 2005.
Surf Cat's appearance in the six-furlong Bing Crosby does not mean that Headley thinks the horse is limited to sprints in coming starts. Headley intends to stretch out Surf Cat to longer distances later this year.
Headley said another option for the Del Mar meeting is to wait for $300,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap over seven furlongs on Aug. 19.
"It's back in three weeks, which is tough to do," Headley said, referring to the time between the Triple Bend and the Bing Crosby. "We'll see how he comes up to it."
The Bing Crosby is an important prep to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27. The Bing Crosby and BC Sprint are on the schedule of Bordonaro, who was second in the 2006 Bing Crosby.
Trained by Bill Spawr, Bordonaro worked six furlongs in a quick 1:11.80 on Saturday, the fastest of 12 recorded works at the distance.
Other probable starters for Bing Crosby are Declan's Moon, E Z Warrior, and Greg's Gold.
String of DQ's
There were disqualifications in four consecutive races at Del Mar on Friday, including the $137,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes, but none of the horses that were disqualified were winners.
In the CTBA Stakes for 2-year-old statebred fillies, Livia La Vida Loca and Billie Bob, who finished third and fourth, were disqualified and placed fourth and fifth for interfering with original fifth-place finisher Comical Vacation at the start. Comical Vacation was promoted from fifth to third.
Comical Vacation started between Livia La Vida Loca and Billie Bob and was slammed by both of her disqualified rivals at the start. Because Comical Vacation finished a half-length behind Livia La Vida Loca and a head behind Billie Bob, the stewards ruled that the incident affected the order of finish.
The race was won by Treadmill, who had an ideal trip stalking pacesetters I Dig Her and Billie Bob before taking the lead with a wide rally in the final 30 yards. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Treadmill ($6) won by a half-length over I Dig Her, finishing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.79.
Owned by Paul Reddam and trained by Craig Dollase, Treadmill has won 2 of 3 starts and $132,000. She was second in the Landaluce Stakes against open company at Hollywood Park on June 30, and could return for the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs here on Aug. 8, Dollase said.
"It looked like she struggled with the track a bit," he said. "If there is a spot to be on this track, I think it's on the outside. It concerns me a bit that she did struggle on the track."
In the fourth race, an optional claimer over 1o1/16 miles on turf, Hoist the Sail was disqualified from fourth to seventh for causing a chain reaction of interference in the stretch.
In the fifth race, a $25,000 claimer for sprinters, Sizzling Sarah was disqualified from fifth to sixth for drifting out into the path of sixth-place finisher Stormy Tuesday at the sixteenth pole.
In the sixth race, an optional claimer over 1o1/16 miles on turf, runner-up Fire Wood was demoted to fifth for drifting to the inside in the stretch.
The lengthy inquiries involved with the four disqualifications resulted in the eighth and final race of the day starting at 7:57 p.m., 25 minutes behind schedule.
Jockeys Isaias Enriquez, Corey Nakatani, Martin Pedroza and Joe Talamo, who were involved with the disqualifications, were scheduled to meet with stewards over the weekend to discuss the incidents.
Talamo has appealed a three-day suspension issued on Friday for causing interference on Midnighter in Thursday's second race, according to his agent, Ron Ebanks. The suspension was scheduled from Friday through Sunday.
David Cohen has been suspended from Friday through Sunday for causing interference in Thursday's eighth race aboard Tough Contender in a maiden claimer for sprinters. Tough Contender was disqualified from fifth to sixth.
Designed for Luck makes return
Designed for Luck, the multiple stakes-winning 10-year-old gelding, finished fourth in Friday's sixth race, and was promoted to third after the disqualification of Fire Wood. The race was Designed for Luck's first start since October 2005, a layoff caused by a hind leg injury.
A winner of 10 of 28 starts and $973,660 for David and Holly Wilson, Designed for Luck set the pace and faded in the final furlong to finish two lengths behind race winner New Export.
"He came out of the race super," trainer Vladimir Cerin said. "I'm hoping I didn't train him hard enough. I won't run him back in two weeks, but maybe three or four weeks from now."
Cerin said before Friday's race that if Designed for Luck ran poorly he would be retired. Designed for Luck started for an $80,000 claiming race in the optional claimer.
* The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association will present an information booth in the Best Pal Pub, adjacent to the paddock, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.