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$30K yearling vs. $1.7M weanling
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A yearling purchased for $30,000 may prove impossible to catch in a field that features several expensive yearlings and weanlings in Hollywood Park's fourth race Sunday.
Ghost Shadow, a first-time starter bought for $30,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale last fall, has drawn the rail in a maiden special weight race for 2-year-old fillies over five furlongs. The filly, by 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, has already developed a reputation for quickness, having worked three furlongs in 33.80 seconds from the gate April 11.
She could give trainer Shawn Talbot his first winner of the meeting.
"She's just quick," he said. "She doesn't slow down."
Owned by Stuart Tsujimoto, Ghost Shadow has eight rivals, including the first-time starters Mi Sueno, Necessary Evil, and Rote.
Mi Sueno, bought for $1.7 million as a weanling at Keeneland in November 2007, is trained by the flamboyant Eric Guillot. Friday, Guillot alternatively predicted victory and that Mi Sueno may need a start.
"She'll stalk them, win by two and gallop out by 10," he said.
A moment later, he said that Mi Sueno "will need some more distance."
Mi Sueno, by Pulpit out of the Grade 1 winner Madcap Escapade, is owned by Southern Equine Racing. She was the most expensive weanling purchased at a public auction in 2007.
Necessary Evil, a $160,000 yearling purchase trained by Doug O'Neill, and Rote, a $150,000 yearling buy trained by Peter Miller, have worked quickly in recent weeks. O'Neill is having an outstanding meeting with 2-year-olds, winning five juvenile races in May.
Of Necessary Evil, O'Neill said her speed is an asset.
"She's quick," he said.
Madeo eyeing first Grade 1 victory
Madeo, the winner of the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap in April, will attempt to win the first Grade 1 of his career in Saturday's $300,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap.
A winner of 5 of 13 starts and $463,715 for Jerry and Ann Moss, Madeo has won two stakes, including the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby last August. The Whittingham, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf, will be his first start in a Grade 1 race since a troubled eighth-place finish in the Hollywood Derby last fall.
Trainer John Shirreffs considered the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile last Monday for Madeo, but opted for the Whittingham to give the 4-year-old "a little extra time."
"I think the mile might be a little more toward his style, but the mile and a quarter is not a big deal," Shirreffs said.
The field for the Whittingham is expected to include defending champion Artiste Royal, Globetrotter, Liquidity, Midships, and Union Avenue.
Trainer Bill Mott said Court Vision, winner of the 2008 Hollywood Derby and the runner-up in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 2, will run in either the Whittingham or the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on the same day.
Hearing on track's future continued
A public hearing on a proposed project to end racing at Hollywood Park and develop 238 acres of property for retail and residential use was continued from Thursday evening until next Wednesday by the Inglewood city council.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Backers of the proposed $2 billion development are seeking approval from the city council to launch the project. Officials with the development company Wilson Meany Sullivan told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that they would like to begin construction within a year.
Wilson Meany Sullivan is working with Hollywood Park's owners, Stockbridge Real Estate Funds, on the development project.
Hollywood Park officials told the California Horse Racing Board earlier this year that racing will be conducted through the end of this year, but have not made a commitment for racing in 2010.
Track president Jack Liebau has told the racing board in the past that if the track intends to close, Hollywood Park will give the industry a six-month notice to allow for alternative stabling for the approximately 1,400 horses currently based at the track.
The proposed development project would include 620,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, a hotel, 2,995 homes, and 75,000 square feet of office space.
Mrs Kipling waits for American Oaks
Mrs Kipling, winner of the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 3, was held out of Sunday's Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap in favor of the $700,000 American Oaks on July 5, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
After the Senorita, Drysdale had considered a three-race campaign during the spring-summer meeting for Mrs Kipling, but is now planning on two starts.
"We decided against it," he said of the Honeymoon.
Mrs Kipling is owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay. The Senorita was her first graded stakes win.
Anabaa's Creation trying U.S. turf
Anabaa's Creation, an impressive winner of her U.S. debut in a one-mile allowance race on the main track at Santa Anita in April, makes her turf debut in this country in a tough one-mile allowance race in Sunday's third race.
The start could lead to a stakes appearance at Del Mar, trainer Julio Canani said.
Owned by Prestonwood Racing, Anabaa's Creation was a listed stakes winner in France in 2006 as a 2-year-old and later placed in three group races. Canani said he has taken a conservative approach to Anabaa's Creation's campaign since she arrived from Europe with a reputation for needing time between starts.
"She's training good and I've given her enough time," he said.
Sunday's allowance race has drawn a field of six, including the stakes winners Golden Doc A, Raymi Coya, and Zardana.
Del Mar adjusts entry schedule
Del Mar has adjusted its entry schedule for the upcoming meeting to accommodate a five-day racing schedule. Entries will be drawn on Saturdays for Wednesday racing, on Sundays for Thursday and Friday programs, on Wednesdays for Saturday cards, and on Thursdays for Sunday racing.
Del Mar has eliminated Monday racing during the meeting, which runs from July 22 to Sept. 9. The exception will be Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.
The track is accepting nominations through Friday for two Grade 1 races for 2-year-olds worth $300,000 - the Darley Debutante and Del Mar Futurity. Both races are run over seven furlongs.