Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer hopes the formula that enabled Killer Graces to win the $402,000 Grade I Hollywood Starlet Saturday works again with Rousing Sermon in the $750,000-guaranteed CashCall Futurity next Saturday
at Hollywood Park.
Killer Graces finished second in the Sharp Cat Stakes in her prep for the Starlet November 13 and Rousing Sermon similarly finished second in the Real Quiet Stakes, the prep for the Futurity November 12.
“Awesome,” said Dan Ward, assistant to Hollendorfer, Sunday morning after Rousing Sermon worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 with jockey Joe Talamo.
“He used to be a slow workhorse but he worked by himself today in 1:12 and one.
“His numbers have gone up with each race,” said Ward of the California-bred colt who has recorded two firsts, one second and two thirds in five starts. “He’s training better now that he knows what he has to do. There will be some luck involved in a big field, but he will be running in the stretch, that’s for sure.”
Hollendorfer seeks to become the first trainer to win the Starlet and Futurity in the same year. A full field of 14 is probable in the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track. Hollendorfer won the 1988 Futurity with King Glorious.
Two other Futurity probables also worked on Cushion Track Sunday, both five furlongs. Empire Way was timed in 1:01 for trainer Mike Harrington while Kentucky invader Cozzetti was clocked in 1:02.60 breezing.
Cozzetti, who was flown west from Churchill Downs Tuesday by trainer Dale Romans, worked under exercise rider Faustino Aguilar. “I think he’s a special horse, and this is the last chance for a 2-year-old to run in a big race,” said Romans by phone from Kentucky of the decision to ship the colt off a five-length maiden score in the mud at Churchill Downs in his third start November 16.
Romans said he will arrive here Thursday to apply the final touches to the gray/roan son of Cozzene out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Drop Cello.
Harrington was happy with the work by Empire Way. “He went nice,” said Harrington after the drill under John Cisneros. Harrington said a jockey selection was pending for the colt, who finished sixth in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes following an impressive maiden score.
Five-time Futurity winner Bob Baffert said as many as four colts—Liaison, Drill, Sky Kingdom and So Brilliant—are under consideration for the race and worked three of them Sunday at Santa Anita. Real Quiet winner Liasion and recent maiden winner Sky Kingdom each worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.80 while Del Mar Futurity winner Drill drilled five panels in 1:00. Jockeys Rafael Bejarano, Martin Garcia and Garrett Gomez have calls in the race with Baffert.
Brother Francis, runner-up in the Hollywood Prevue, worked five furlongs in 1:02 at Santa Anita Sunday for trainer Jim Cassidy. Victor Espinoza has the call back.
Owner J. Paul Reddam, whose CashCall company sponsors the race, said that Corey Nakatani will ride recent acquisition Handsome Mike and that Hector Berrios has the call on Basmati, owned by his wife Zillah. Both colts are trained by Doug O’Neill. Nakatani won the race last year aboard Comma to the Top.
Peter Miller, who trained Comma to the Top, seeks a repeat with Majestic City, winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship. Ramon Dominguez will ride the colt, unbeaten in three starts on this surface.
Trainer Paddy Gallagher said that French import Desormais was adapting well to his new surroundings after clearing quarantine Friday and going to the track the past two mornings. David Flores has the Futurity call on the colt, who broke his maiden at Marseilles on November 15 in his third start.
Owner-breeder Myung Kwon Cho gave the green light to Groovin’ Solo after a five-furlong work in 1:02 here Friday. Alonso Quinonez will ride the maiden.
Lucky Chappy, fourth-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, is scheduled to be flown here Wednesday from Maryland by trainer Graham Motion and be stabled with Gary Mandella in Barn 53 North.
Lucky Chappy breezed five furlongs in 1:03 at Fair Hill, Md., Saturday and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Trainer John Sadler was considering supplementing Stoney Fleece, winner of the Generous Stakes on turf November 27, to the Futurity.
JOCKEY, TRAINER RACES GOING DOWN TO THE WIRE
With six days remaining in the Hollywood Park Autumn Meet, Joel Rosario and Rafael Bejarano are continuing an ongoing theme: a battle for leading jockey honors.
Rosario holds a 26-25 lead as the pair strive for supremacy on the Southern California circuit. During the past five years, one or the other has won every stop on the major circuit.
Bejarano holds a 10-9 lead during that time but Rosario has won nine of the last 13, including the last five Hollywood Park meets. The last jockey as dominant at the Inglewood track was Chris McCarron, who won nine in a row from 1980 to 1984.
The trainer race also appears to be another tight one with Bob Baffert and Mike Mitchell entering Sunday tied atop the standings with 13 wins. Baffert edged Mitchell to win his first Hollywood Park Spring/Summer crown this year and has won the Autumn title twice. Mitchell has won six titles at Hollywood Park, including the Autumn Meet twice.
WEEMISSFRANKIE UNDERGOES LEG SURGERY
Weemissfrankie, who finished fourth as the favorite in the $402,000 Hollywood Starlet Saturday, suffered a condylar fracture to her right front leg and was scheduled to undergo surgery Sunday, according to trainer Peter Eurton.
Weemissfrankie stumbled at the start of the 1 1/16-mile race from post one under Rafael Bejarano. “It probably happened when she went to her nose at the start, and probably got worse during the race,” said Eurton. “It didn’t get really bad until she got back to the barn.”
Eurton said the filly was scheduled to be vanned to Los Alamitos Sunday morning and be operated on by Wayne McIlwraith, a renowned surgeon.
“She only got beat 2 ¾ lengths on three legs,” said Eurton, marveling at the courage of the filly, who was seeking to become only the second to sweep the Del Mar Debutante, Oak Leaf Stakes and Starlet.
The mood was much different in the Jerry Hollendorfer stable, celebrating the upset victory by Killer Graces in the Starlet. “She was very happy,” said assistant Dan Ward. “She was just dragging the guy around this morning.”
Killer Graces, giving Hollendorfer his second Starlet win in three years, is expected to return at Santa Anita this winter.
Jose Miranda, assistant to trainer Ron McAnally, said that Starlet runner-up Charm the Maker also returned in good shape.
FINISH LINES—Martin Pedroza has taken a call on Real Good Deal Stakes winner Chiloquin in the $80,000-added On Trust Handicap for California-breds at 7 ½ furlongs next Sunday, closing day of the Autumn Meet. Joe Talamo will ride Pirates Bounty Stakes winner Mensa Heat in the same race. Blue Jay Attack, one of three Marty Jones trainees nominated to the race, worked four furlongs in 53.60 on turf Sunday…Hollywood Derby winner Ultimate Eagle breezed five furlongs on Cushion Track in 59.80 Sunday for trainer Mike Pender …Trainer Eoin Harty was elated with a maiden victory by Out of Bounds in a maiden race for 2-year-olds Saturday and predicts a bright future for the well-bred Darley Stable homebred colt. “He’s the best of my 2-year-olds and is coming around nicely at the right time,” said Harty. “The further, the better.” Out Of Bounds rallied from just off the pace in his second start under Rafael Bejarano to win in 1:23.17 for seven furlongs. The handsome colt is by Discreet Cat out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Unbridled Elaine, a Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner.
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