05/05/2010 2:31PM

Hollywood Park: Superstar workout report

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Most horseplayers prefer to wager on horses in the afternoon, rather than watch them train in the morning.

 

Wednesday at Hollywood was an exception. The best handicap horse in California, Rail Trip, had his final workout before his comeback. And the best horse in the country, Zenyatta, had an easy morning on the training track.

 

Rail Trip and Zenyatta both looked terrific.

 

Rail Trip, winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup last summer and unraced since September, returns Saturday in the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap. He glided through an easy half-mile in :48.20.

 

“Mentally, he is where he needs to be to run a mile and a sixteenth,” trainer Ron Ellis said. “He’s real relaxed.”

 

Rail Trip worked alone at 8:30 a.m., and cruised. He is the 121-pound top weight Saturday in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy.

 

Zenyatta always takes her time, and it was nearly 10 a.m. by the time she walked onto the half-mile training track behind the Hollywood stable area. Dappled out, comfortable, and happy, Zenyatta went three easy laps and could have done more.

 

Her trainer John Shirreffs said Zenyatta runs June 13 in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap, providing she is not weighted out of the race.

 

Rail Trip’s three-race summer campaign will culminate July 10 in the Gold Cup, and there was speculation Zenyatta might also run there.

 

Shirreffs, however, downplayed the idea.

 

 The bottom line – Rail Trip and Zenyatta both appear to be doing great, and the year is still young.