02/20/2007 12:00AM

Boss Ego, 11, gets 14th win


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has won a million-dollar race and the Kentucky Oaks twice.

He's trained numerous stakes winners and is usually among the nation's leaders in victories and win percentage.

But one of the best training jobs of his career has come with Boss Ego, who scored a victory at age 11 last Thursday after going 0 for 8 with 2 seconds and 4 thirds as a 10-year-old.

Career victory No. 14 came in typical Boss Ego style, on the front end in a $10,000 claimer. Only this time, he was headed in the lane by Winning Stripes but dug back in under Dennis Carr and gamely re-rallied, inching away late to win by a half-length. The victory, worth $6,875, lifted his career earnings to $517,320.

Hollendorfer claimed Boss Ego for $80,000 on Oct. 27, 1999, and waited nearly six months before giving him his first start. Boss Ego won two allowance races, finished second in the Grade 3 All-American, and won the Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton.

He has run in 14 stakes from 2000-04, winning the Alamedan in 2000 and the San Carlos in 2002. He also had three seconds and a third in stakes company.

Despite his stakes victories and earnings, despite his longevity, despite his desire and honest, hard-trying nature, Boss Ego is not a stallion prospect, Hollendorfer said.

"The breeding competition is so tough, there's no room for him in the United States," Hollendorfer said.

To some, campaigning a stakes winner in lower-level claiming races at age 11 may seem strange, but Boss Ego is a racehorse, and he loves his profession.

Hollendorfer approaches things carefully with Boss Ego.

"We're thinking about retiring him," he said.

It would be fitting if Boss Ego's last race came with him in the winner's circle, but Hollendorfer's thoughts of retiring the horse are not strictly sentimental.

"The worst thing in the world would be if he got hurt," Hollendorfer said. "He's given us so much, we wouldn't want anything to happen to him. He is content on the racetrack, and the fact is we take really good care of him. One of our concerns is, what kind of care would he get if we retired him to a farm?"

My Captain returns after a year

Another game runner, the multiple stakes-winning 8-year-old My Captain, will make his first start since Feb. 20, 2006, in Thursday's Bay Meadows feature, a $40,000 claimer at six furlongs. Court's in Session, a three-time stakes winner, is also entered.

My Captain was always troubled by tender feet, and Cliff DeLima, who claimed him for $50,000 on Nov. 5, 2005, said the gelding's feet were one of several problems that kept him on the sidelines so long.

"We're just doing regular training with him," DeLima said. "Even with his problems, a good horse like this is easier to train."

DeLima is good at getting horses to run well in their comebacks. He has given My Captain a steady string of six-furlong works for his return. Win machine Colonel Courtney and last-race winners Crosscut (who beat Colonel Courtney) and Alex and Me are also entered, as is Elegant Ice, who won two starts back

Another Hollendorfer prospect

Hollendorfer is waiting for the March 10 El Camino Real Derby for California Derby winner Bwana Bull's next start, but he may have another contender in Brave Sun, who scored a game victory in a salty one-mile allowance race last week.

The colt is 3 for 3 for Hollendorfer since being claimed for $32,000 out of a Nov. 16 maiden race at Hollywood Park.

He rallied nicely to win, prompting winning rider Russell Baze to say, "It's nice when I'm not the only one tired after a race."

The talented Robbo's Courage wound up battling for the lead in the race and never got a breather. He also had to check in the stretch and ended up finishing fifth, but came out of his first try around two turns in good order.

Somethinaboutlaura tops Foster City

Hollendorfer nominated four runners to Saturday's $50,000-added Foster City Handicap at one mile. Somethinaboutlaura was assigned 123 pounds as the highweight, Secret Scheme was given 118, Gemstone Rush 115, and Bid of Genius 114.

Secret Scheme will run instead in Saturday's $100,000 Grade 3 Las Flores at six furlongs at Santa Anita, along with comebacking Hystericalady, the Grade 2 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks winner who will make her first start since finishing fifth at odds-on in the Delaware Oaks last July 15.

Hollendorfer said he would decide what to do with his other three Foster City nominees at entry time on Wednesday.

* Trainer Steve Miyadi was fined $1,000 for an excess of Phenylbutazone in Miss Shelby, winner of the sixth race at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 27.

* Jockey Luis Contreras was suspended three days for causing interference aboard Island Adventure in Sunday's third race.