07/10/2005 11:00PM

Cal Cup star Cozy Guy fighting for his life

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Cozy Guy, the winner of the $250,000 last October, is fighting for his life because of a liver ailment, according to his trainer, Dan Hendricks.

Cozy Guy was sent to the San Luis Rey Equine Clinic for treatment in early July, but the situation has remained grave, Hendricks said.

"Something has attacked the liver," Hendricks said. "We're trying to do everything we can. They've been giving him lots of fluids and antibiotics."

Cozy Guy has won 7 of 18 starts and $418,104. A 4-year-old, he has been turned out since winning the Crystal Water Handicap for statebreds at Santa Anita in March.

Runaway Dancer heads toward Sunset

Hendricks is starting Runaway Dancer, the top older horse in his stable, in Sunday's $150,000 Sunset Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf. The race is the highlight of the final day of the meeting.

Runaway Dancer is already having an excellent meeting. The 6-year-old gelding won the $350,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf on May 14, rallying from last in a field of eight. He worked five furlongs in 1:04.40 on turf at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

In the Murray, Runaway Dancer ended an eight-race losing streak that dated back to the 2003 Carleton Burke Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

"He seems as well as he was in his last race," Hendricks said. "He proved he fit with those horses. He came back this year a little better and a little sounder."

Runaway Dancer, who will be ridden by leading jockey Garrett Gomez, is likely to have at least five opponents in the Grade 3 Sunset - Always First, Continuously, One Off, Stanley Park, and T.H. Approval.

Saturday's top race is the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship for 2-year-olds at six furlongs. What a Song and Bashert, both impressive maiden race winners in their last starts, will lead a small field.

What's next for Alphabet Kisses?

Owner-breeder John Harris and trainer Marty Jones had a plan in the spring to start Alphabet Kisses at least twice at Hollywood Park - in the B. Thoughtful Stakes for statebreds in April and in Saturday's A Gleam Handicap. She won both, adding to her already impressive resume, which includes a win in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes last summer at age 3.

Now Jones is not sure what to do next with Alphabet Kisses. "We'll make it up as we go along," he said.

Alphabet Kisses won the seven-furlong A Gleam by three lengths on a track she adores. She has won 5 of 6 starts in her career at Hollywood Park, and Jones wishes the meeting was not about to end.

"She's kind of a funny filly," he said. "I'm not happy to leave Hollywood. She's so happy there. I wish I could keep her there all year."

Jones said races such as the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 19 and the $250,000 Ballerina Stakes at seven furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 28 are possibilities for her down the road.

"I don't know if we want to ship her out too much," he said. "She doesn't like a lot of change. That was our goal - to see how she'd run in those races here."

Business is booming

For a track that was sold last week and faces a questionable future, Hollywood Park has had two successful days so far this month.

On July 3, the American Oaks program drew a handle of more than $22 million, the third highest on the Southern California circuit this year.

Saturday's Gold Cup program showed gains from 2004. The ontrack crowd of 18,501 was a gain of 2.5 percent over 2004.

Saturday's all-sources handle of $19,510,333 was an increase of 14 percent over last year, while the ontrack handle of $3,098,141 was up 6.9 percent. The increase can be partially attributed to the cancellation of a top-class program of sprints at Calder on Saturday because of Hurricane Dennis, which made Hollywood Park the center of attention for additional bettors.

Hollywood Park was sold on July 6 by Churchill Downs Inc. to the Bay Meadows Land Co. Without the addition of slot machines or a revenue agreement with Native American tribes over the next three years, Bay Meadows is threatening to develop the track's 240-acre property.

* Jockey Patrick Valenzuela has been given a three-day suspension for careless riding in Saturday's sixth race. Elisa's Energy, Valenzuela's mount, finished first but was disqualified to third for interference. The suspension begins Wednesday and continues through Friday.