06/04/2008 11:00PM

Bold Chieftain eyes a little prestige


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Conquering a few California-breds and the handicap horses in Northern California has helped Bold Chieftain compile a record of 10 wins in 18 starts and earnings of $628,025. It has done nothing for his national standing.

Trainer and co-owner Bill Morey Jr. has higher goals for the 5-year-old horse. He wants Bold Chieftain to gain recognition as a graded stakes winner, which he can do in Saturday's $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park.

"He's made $600,000, but he's got no graded stakes wins on his record," Morey said.

Bold Chieftain is making his fifth trip to Southern California in the last year, and he has had mixed results here. He won the Californian Dreamin Handicap at Del Mar and the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita last year, but was sixth in the Grade 3 Native Diver at Hollywood Park in December and seventh in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita in January.

He has not lost since the Sunshine Millions, winning three two-turn stakes at Bay Meadows.

"We kept running him, and he kept getting the job done," Morey said. "I backed off of him after his last race. I felt sorry for him. I had been going pretty hard."

The Grade 3 Ack Ack will be Bold Chieftain's first start since a two-length win in the Bay Meadows Handicap on April 26. In the last year, Bold Chieftain has excelled at distances ranging from a mile to 1 1/8 miles, which makes the Ack Ack distance of 7 1/2 furlongs a little more tricky.

"In a perfect world it's not a perfect distance," Morey said. "I think it's a good spot to come back in. He's a good mile horse. We're talking about a few steps short of a mile, of course."

Bold Chieftain tends to run near the front, and should get a good trip in the Ack Ack, which has drawn a field of 12. Whether he can hold off Rebellion, the winner of the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland on April 12, or Tropic Storm, an impressive winner here on May 7, is another matter.

Bold Chieftain and Rebellion share the top weight of 120 pounds.

Rebellion was considered for the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on May 26, but did not make the race because of a foot ailment. Trained by Graham Motion in Maryland, Rebellion is seeking his third stakes win in his last five starts.

Tropic Storm was not seriously tested on May 7, winning an optional claimer over 7 1/2 furlongs by 1 1/4 lengths. The Ack Ack will be his graded stakes debut.

"He bounced out of it very well," trainer Craig Dollase said. "His numbers fit with these stakes horses."