Compari, victorious in six of eight outings, will make his next start in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10, trainer Marty Jones confirmed Sunday.
Jones gave the California-bred 4-year-old gelding the green light after a seven-furlong work in 1:26.80 on Cushion Track. “He finished really nice,” said Jones.
Owned and bred by John Harris, Don Valpredo and John Nicoletti, Compari comes off a seventh-place finish in the Shoemaker Mile on turf May 31, snapping a six-race winning streak.
“It was a combination of things,” said Jones in analyzing the defeat, in which Compari was forced to steady at the 3/8-pole. “The post parade, the break, and he didn’t have a smooth trip.
“Things didn’t work out that race and we hope to put them together next time out,” continued Jones. “He won the Snow Chief on this track and has always trained well on it.”
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who won the 2004 Gold Cup on Total Impact, will ride Compari for the first time. By Redattore out of the Dixieland Band mare Southern Charm, Compari has won four stakes, including the Grade II Arcadia Handicap. He has earned $422,640.
Defending champion Rail Trip is expected to head the lineup in the Grade I handicap at 1 ¼ miles on the main track.
Trainer Simon Callaghan, fresh off his first graded stakes victory in the United States with Turning Top in the $100,000 Grade III Beverly Hills Handicap Saturday, hopes to write the same winning formula with Conniption in the $250,000 Grade I American Oaks next Saturday.
Like Turning Top, Conniption is an Irish-bred filly owned by Michael Tabor attempting to stretch out to 1 ¼ miles on turf off a victory at one mile on the lawn here. Both began their careers in England before being shipped to California this year.
“Conniption just breezed five-eighths this morning in 1:01 with Brice Blanc,” said Callaghan from his Santa Anita training base Sunday. “It was a nice maintenance work.”
Conniption, by Danehill Dancer out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Showbiz, comes off an allowance score here May 20, her second win in six starts. “I’m optimistic she will get the trip,” said Callaghan of the added distance.
Other probable starters starters include Senorita Stakes winner Cozi Rosie (Mike Smith), Providencia Stakes winner City to City (Joel Rosario), Harmonious (Martin Garcia) and Andina (Rafael Bejarano). Andina worked six furlongs on turf in 1:17 for trainer Ben Cecil. Weekend Magic, a nominee from the Myung Kwon Cho barn, worked four furlongs on turf in 51.60.
Callaghan said that Turning Top, a 4-year-old filly, returned in good shape following her fourth straight victory and would be nominated to both the Beverly D. at Arlington Park and the John Mabee Stakes at Del Mar for her next start.
Callaghan, 27, was born in England, the son of retired trainer Neville Callaghan. He moved to California before Christmas and has eight horses at Santa Anita. “It’s very different here but I worked for Todd Pletcher six or seven years ago, so I knew what to expect,” said Callaghan.
Spring Style showed her readiness for a return to the races in the $150,000 Grade II Royal Heroine Mile next Saturday by working a bullet five furlongs on turf in 1:00 here Sunday.
“This will be her first start since the Buena Vista (Handicap at Santa Anita, in which she finished sixth on February 15),” said trainer Ben Cecil. “She was out with niggling little things, but she’s doing well now. A mile is probably the bare minimum for her, but I’ve got to run her somewhere.”
Spring Style, an Irish-bred 4-year-old filly by Pivotal, has won three of 10 starts for Kristina Cecil, the trainer’s wife, and Zillah Reddam and earned $105,677. She won her only start on the Hollywood turf last November.
Other probable starters include Gotta Have Her (Tyler Baze) and U R All That I Am (Rafael Bejarano).
Cecil also watched Andina work six furlongs on turf for the American Oaks. “Last time she was too close to the pace,” said Cecil of the Irish-bred filly, who finished fourth in the Honymoon Handicap May 31 after stalking in second much of the way. “We will try to stay farther back. She’s got a nice turn of foot. We took that away from her last time. A mile and a quarter should suit her.”
Oil Man worked on Cushion Track and Riviera Cocktail and Victory Pete drilled on turf Sunday for a probable meeting in the $150,000 Grade II American Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on grass on the Fourth of July.
Oil Man worked one mile in 1:38.80 for trainer John Sadler. The Irish-bred 4-year-old colt will be making his second start back following a six-month layoff. He won the Cinema Handicap on turf here last June.
Riviera Cocktail, unbeaten in three tries on this course, worked a bullet six furlongs for trainer Neil Drysdale in 1:14.40, the same time recorded by Victory Pete for conditioner Alexis Barba. Victory Pete, sidelined for more than a year, won on the turf here in 2009.
Joel Rosario has the call on Oil Man, while Tyler Baze will be up on Riviera Cocktail, and Alonso Quinonez will be on Victory Pete.
Other probable starters include Meteore (Rafael Bejarano) and Global Hunter. Hyades is possible.
Marvin’s Magic,winner of his only start at Emerald Downs on June 6, has shipped to Hollywood Park for the $100,000 Grade III Hollywood Juvenile Championship for 2-year-olds at six furlongs on July 5.
Marvin’s Magic, a colt by Aptitude, is trained by Frank Lucarelli and owned by Chris Randall, the same duo that teamed to win the Inglewood Handicap with Gallant Son. Mike Smith, who rode the Inglewood winner, has the call.
Other probable starters include Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes winner J P’s Gusto (Joe Talamo), Western Mood (Joel Rosario), Tappin Tough (David Flores), River’s Chapel (Christian Santiago-Reyes), Edgewick Road (Tyler Baze) and either Gab Power or Lucky Mr. K. (Victor Espinoza).
Tappin Tough worked six furlongs in 1:14.20 for trainer Walther Solis. Leon Ayala, another nominee, drilled the same distance in 1:13.60 for Oscar Garcia.
FINISH LINES— Zenyatta, the 6-year-old superstar who stretched her unbeaten streak to 17 with a victory in the Vanity Handicap on June 13, breezed four furlongs in 49.60…Santa Anita Derby winner Sidney’s Candy worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 prepping for the $200,000 Grade II Swaps Stakes on July 17…Martin Garcia returns to ride today following a fruitful trip to Prairie Meadows in which he won two stakes for trainer Bob Baffert: the Iowa Derby on Concord Point in track-record time and the Iowa Distaff on Wynning Ride…Ferneley, sidelined since racing in Hong Kong in December, neared a return to the races for Ben Cecil with a five-furlong move in 1:00.80 on turf…Trainer Alexis Barba said that Alphie’s Bet, third-place finisher in the Affirmed Handicap, remains on target for the Swaps…Blind Luck is scheduled to make her next start in the Delaware Oaks on July 10 with *Joel Rosario*…After a dark day on Wednesday, there will be special Thursday night racing (7:05 p.m. post time) on July 1. There will also be the normal Friday night card, ushering in a holiday weekend that offers afternoon programs Saturday, Sunday (July 4) and Monday . Post time is 1 p.m. each day.
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