Updated on 09/15/2011 1:40PM

Budroyale looking sharp in his prep works


DEL MAR, Calif. - For a horse who has usually not trained nor raced with distinction at Del Mar, Budroyale appears to be thriving here this summer. He has turned in a strong series of workouts for his comeback in Sunday's $250,000 San Diego Handicap, and completed his training Monday morning with a brilliant seven-furlong work in 1:25.60.

"That's a couple of seconds faster than I thought he would go," Budroyale's trainer, Ted H. West, said as Budroyale completed his drill, just after the 9 a.m. renovation break. "He's an amazing horse. He hasn't missed a day of training, hasn't missed an oat. He was training so good at Santa Anita, and when they went to shoe him, they found three bruises the sizes of a quarter and had to cut them out. He never showed it. He was still training good."

Budroyale has not raced since finishing seventh of eight on May 13, 2000, in the Pimlico Special. He will be ridden in the San Diego by Isaias Enriquez, who rides regularly for West but rarely gets chances in stakes races. "He's a really, really underrated rider," West said of Enriquez, who has been working Budroyale with regularity in recent weeks. "I have complete confidence in him."

The San Diego should have a large field, including last year's winner, Skimming, and Futural, who was disqualified from victory in the Hollywood Gold Cup July 1. Skimming worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 Monday morning. Another likely San Diego entrant, Out of Mind, worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds.

Kona Gold, the people's choice

Trainer Bruce Headley, who sent out Kona Gold to a thrilling and popular victory in Sunday's Bing Crosby Handicap, called it "one of the most exciting events" he had ever seen, and said Kona Gold came out of the race in excellent condition.

"The fans made it exciting. They showed their appreciation, their admiration, three different times," Headley said of the spontaneous cheers for Kona Gold, including a rousing cheer when Kona Gold returned to the winner's circle following the race. "I got goose bumps. They popped up suddenly." Kona Gold has raced three seasons at Del Mar, and is unbeaten here in five starts.

"To have that honesty and determination is unbelievable," Headley said of Kona Gold, who has now won seven straight races, and 12 of 20 overall. "I've never had so many racetrackers congratulate me after a win. This is an envious sport, but he's won them over. He's got the greatness of Michael Jordan, and the coolness of Tiger Woods."

Kona Gold looked bright and alert while munching on his hay rack Monday morning. Headley said the 7-year-old gelding, who earned an outstanding Beyer Speed Figure of 119 in the Bing Crosby, would have an identical fall campaign to the one that produced an Eclipse Award last year. Kona Gold will make his next start in the Ancient Title Handicap during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, then head to New York for the Breeders' Cup Sprint, part of the World Thoroughbred Champion-ships at Belmont Park. Kona Gold is the defending champion in both the Ancient Title and the Breeders' Cup.

McCarron sits it out, gingerly

Jockey Chris McCarron on Monday did not ride for the second straight day since being toppled from Starrer at the start of Saturday's Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park. He is nursing a sore tailbone, and will gradually get back into action as the week progresses, according to his agent, Scotty McClellan.

"It hurts him to sit down," McClellan said Monday. "The second day after a spill is always the worst. Right now he's sore, sorer than he thought he would be. He sat in a whirlpool on Sunday, but he didn't feel enough comfort, so he took off his mounts. He'd hate to get beat a neck, or a head, and think he didn't do justice to the horse cost someone a purse.

"He's going to go in for treatment tomorrow. I've got him named on one on Wednesday, and I'll put him on a couple on Thursday," McClellan said.

Futural finishes fast

After Futural worked five furlongs Sunday, Craig Dollase extended his left hand to reveal a stopwatch that reflected a final quarter-mile time of 23.61 seconds. Futural worked five furlongs in 1:01.60, which left Dollase optimistic that the 5-year-old will run well in Sunday's $250,000 San Diego Handicap.

"I was looking for a good last quarter-mile," Dollase said. "The time wasn't fast, but the way he did it is what I like."

Futural has not started since winning the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup and being disqualified to third for interference in the stretch. Three weeks later, it remains a bitter memory for Dollase and owners Jess Miller and Jack Weitz.

"I thought he peaked for that race," Dollase said. "It was a blow. Now, we're at another track, another surface. Can he take that form to Del Mar?"

The San Diego may be a tougher race than the Hollywood Gold Cup. It will have a larger field - there were only five runners in the Gold Cup - and is an important race, coming three weeks before the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 18, the main race for older horses at this meeting.

The Gold Cup demotion cost Futural his fourth stakes win of 2001. Earlier this year, he won the Tokyo City, San Bernardino, and Mervyn LeRoy handicaps

and finished second in the Californian Stakes. He has been in steady training since late January.

"He's trained well down here," Dollase said. "He's given every indication he's in good form."

Dollase has not allowed himself to look beyond this meeting. He said Futural is not eligible to the Breeders' Cup, which would force a hefty supplemental fee if he starts on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

"If he runs well in this and the Pacific Classic, we'll have a big chunk of money," Dollase said. "That's something me and the owners need to sit down and discuss."

Bienamado preps for Million

Bienamado, one of McCarron's top mounts this year, worked six furlongs on dirt in 1:14.80 at Santa Anita on Sunday in preparation for the Arlington Million on Aug. 18.

Undefeated in three starts on turf this year, Bienamado has not started since winning the Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 10.

Trainer Paco Gonzalez is based at Santa Anita this summer, meaning that Bienamado is not expected to work on turf again until he ships to Arlington Park.

Tout Charmant getting in shape

Tout Charmant, who won the Matriarch Stakes last November, worked five furlongs on turf in 1:03.60 Sunday and may start by the end of the meeting, trainer Ron McAnally said.

The winner of the 1999 Del Mar Oaks over this turf course, Tout Charmant was out for the first half of the year because of a bout with colic.

"I don't look for races; I get them ready first," McAnally said. "If we're lucky, she'll start at the end of the meeting."

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen

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