10/24/2006 11:00PM

Areyoutalkintome relegated to a lesser Sprint


ARCADIA, Calif. - Areyoutalkintome was entered for Saturday's $150,000 California Cup Sprint at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting after failing to gain an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

Areyoutalkintome was scheduled to be sent from Kentucky to California on Wednesday, according to trainer Doug O'Neill. Areyoutalkintome had stayed at Keeneland following a second in the Grade 3 Phoenix BC Stakes there on Oct. 7.

O'Neill said that owners Russ Sarno and Ron Manzini were furious that Areyoutalkintome was made the first alternate to the BC Sprint by a committee of racing officials. Their decision was announced on Wednesday.

"They want to lynch the selection committee," O'Neill said of Sarno and Manzini. "They can't believe he wasn't selected."

Areyoutalkintome has won 9 of 38 starts and $845,955. This year, he has won 2 of 12 starts, including the restricted Pirate's Bounty Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 6.

"They didn't want to take a chance" of not being able to run, O'Neill said. "We decided to get on a plane and come back."

Areyoutalkintome won the 2004 Cal Cup Sprint. For Saturday's race, he drew the rail and shares starting high weight of 120 pounds with Bonfante, the winner of the Fort Mason Stakes at Golden Gate Fields earlier this month.

Sip One for Mom tears suspensory

Saturday's $100,000 California Cup Distance Handicap will not include Sip One for Mom, the winner of the Solana Beach Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 3.

She emerged from a recent gallop with a torn suspensory, according to trainer Jorge Gutierrez.

Gutierrez said that Sip One for Mom will be re-evaluated in 90 days, and will return to training or be retired early next year.

"He thinks she should be healed," Gutierrez said. "It wasn't that bad."

Gutierrez said he has become a private trainer for Benjamin Warren, the owner of Sip One for Mom. Warren, who owns a Southern California breeding farm, has 20 horses with Gutierrez, a number that could expand to 50 to 80 in coming months, Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said that he will continue to train 10 horses for outside clients.

Gutierrez will have one starter on the Cal Cup program, Slew's Prince in the $150,000 Sprint.

Several strong favorites

There are eight races on the California Cup program worth $100,000 or more.

The first major stakes, race 4, is the $150,000 Matron Stakes for females at 1 1/16 miles. The race is led by the multiple stakes winner Somethinaboutlaura, the winner of the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park in July.

Moscow Burning, the richest statebred female in history with earnings of $1,411,800, is the favorite in the $100,000 Distance Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Spot the Diplomat, third in the Grade 2 Norfolk BC Stakes earlier this month, will be favored in the $125,000 Juvenile. The $125,000 Juvenile Fillies has drawn 10 runners, including Tonja's World, who was eighth in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes in her last start.

In the $175,000 Mile, Unfurl the Flag and McCann's Mojave are the leading contenders in a strong field of 12. The $250,000 Cal Cup Classic features Top This and That, who was second in the Ralph Hinds Pomona Invitational at Fairplex Park last month.

Cambiocorsa, who is unbeaten in eight starts on the hillside turf course, will be a heavy favorite in the $150,000 Distaff.

Clinet comes back from bad injury

Earlier this year, Clinet, an Irish-bred filly, was being prepared for a start in England when she sustained a leg injury on a horse walker.

"She basically had an injury that went to the bone," trainer John Hills said. "She was lucky to live. It was 50-50 if she'd come back to the races."

Slowly, Clinet improved and returned to training. When Hills sent Dark Islander here to win the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby on Oct. 14, Clinet came along from England, preparing for Sunday's $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap.

Hills is traveling from England to California for the Las Palmas. Despite a nine-month layoff, Clinet has a chance to win the Las Palmas at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The filly, a stakes winner in Dubai in February, has worked well in recent weeks in California.

"She had a couple of strong bits of work at Santa Anita," Hills said.

The Grade 2 Las Palmas is not expected to have a strong field. Two leading contenders are Beautyandthebeast and Berbatim, the first and second-place finishers in the Swingtime Stakes on Oct. 4.