12/19/2007 12:00AM

Aiming high with Johnny Eves

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - For a few weeks this fall, Johnny Eves was the track-record holder at 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park after he won an allowance race in 1:14.03 on Nov. 25, for the fourth win of his nine-race career.

It was a short-lived reign. The current mark of 1:13.79 was set by the maiden Banner Lodge last weekend.

That is okay with trainer Jay Robbins. He is hoping that Johnny Eves can reach an even bigger milestone in the $250,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Wednesday, opening day of that track's winter-spring meeting.

The Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds will be Johnny Eves's graded stakes debut and his first attempt at seven furlongs.

"I hope it's not too much of a test," Robbins said.

Owned by Sharon Hilliard, Johnny Eves has made one previous appearance in a stakes, finishing a disappointing seventh in the California Cup Sprint at six furlongs at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Nov. 3. Robbins dismissed the loss after Johnny Eves broke a step slowly on the inside, never reached his customary position on the lead, and faded through the stretch under jockey David Flores.

"David said he got bumped between horses," Robbins said. "He was drawn down on the rail. He's doing well now."

Robbins is more concerned about Johnny Eves's preparation for the Malibu. The horse has been forced to exercise on Santa Anita's infield training track for the last two weeks while the synthetic main track undergoes a massive renovation.

Johnny Eves worked a half-mile on the main track on Dec. 4, the final day of training on that surface before the renovation began, and worked five furlongs on the training track on Dec. 13.

"I don't know where we are fitness-wise," Robbins said. "I'd like to have worked him on the main track. I worked him five-eighths on the training track, and he went well."

The Malibu will feature a large field. The probable starters are Bwana Bull, Cobalt Blue, Divine Park, E Z Warrior, Great Hunter, Horse Greeley, Quietly Mine, Song of Pirates, and Unusual Suspect.

Cobalt Blue won the Select Stakes at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27, on the undercard of the Breeders' Cup program.

Citronnade retired

Citronnade, the winner of the Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park last Sunday, has been retired, trainer Bobby Frankel said. She is scheduled to be sent to owner Frank Stronach's Kentucky farm next week.

A 4-year-old filly by Lemon Drop Kid, Citronnade ended her career with 9 wins in 14 starts and earnings of $864,205. She had her best season in 2007, winning five stakes, including the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 28, the third victory in a sequence of four consecutive graded stakes wins earlier this year.

Citronnade emerged from the Dahlia with an injury that Frankel said was not serious.

"They were going to retire her anyway," he said.

Country Star pointed for Las Virgenes

Country Star, who won her second consecutive Grade 1 race in the Hollywood Starlet last Saturday, will be pointed for the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on Feb. 9, Frankel said.

The Grade 1 Las Virgenes is the first of two races at that level for 3-year-old fillies at the winter-spring meeting, followed by the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks on March 8.

Owned by Stonerside Stable, Country Star won the Starlet by 2 3/4 lengths, setting a track record of 1:40.54 for 1 1/16 miles. The race was her first start since a win in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in October.

"I thought she'd win," Frankel said. "I'd have been disappointed if she hadn't, but I didn't think she'd win like that."

Dancing Edie sold to Japanese breeder

Dancing Edie, the winner of the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap at Del Mar in 2006, was retired earlier this month and sold to a Japanese breeder. Dancing Edie ended her career with 4 wins in 21 starts and earnings of $782,535 for a partnership that included Paul Reddam.

Trained by Craig Dollase for much of her career, Dancing Edie finished sixth in the California Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

Five-horse bet aims at jackpots

Santa Anita is launching a new bet at its upcoming winter meeting that will require bettors to select correctly the first five finishers of the last race in the exact order of finish.

The Super High Five, a $1 bet, is designed as a jackpot wager, which track officials hope will result in massive payoffs. The bet will have a carryover provision in the event that no one correctly selects the first five finishers. The bet will not feature a consolation payoff.

Santa Anita track officials have privately said they do not expect the Super High Five to attract huge pools at the outset until a carryover attracts public attention. The bet will frequently be offered on maiden claiming races that draw fields of 14.

Because of the addition of the Super High Five, a superfecta bet will not be offered on the day's final race, according to a statement from the racetrack.

* Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who has previously ridden in Canada and New York, is booked on two mounts on Friday's program at Hollywood Park. Sutherland, who has won 79 races this year, plans to stay in California through the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, according to agent Tommy Ball.

* Hollywood Park finishes its fall meeting with racing on Friday and Saturday. The Saturday program features 11 races led by the CashCall Futurity and the On Trust Handicap for statebreds. There is no racing in Southern California from Sunday through Tuesday.