04/15/2010 11:00PM

Caracortado eyes Snow Chief for next start

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ARCADIA, Calif. - With hopes for a berth in the Kentucky Derby on May 1 diminishing by the day, Caracortado is likely to start in the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park next Saturday.

Trainer Mike Machowsky said Friday that Caracortado, winner of the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in February, was "60 to 70 percent" likely to run in the Snow Chief Stakes, which is run over 1 1/8 miles for California-bred 3-year-olds.

Caracortado has earned $153,000 in graded stakes and is ranked 27th among candidates to the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 horses based on graded stakes earnings.

"Of course, I'd like to run in the Kentucky Derby," Machowsky said. "I know it's a lot of money. I don't want to grind up my horse to run in the Kentucky Derby. We'll see who falls by the wayside for the Derby. If anything, I'll go to the Snow Chief Stakes and go from there."

Owned by Machowsky and Don Blahut, Caracortado was fourth in the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, encountering traffic problems in the final three furlongs. Machowsky said the gelding emerged from that race with a foot problem.

"He had a little abscess in one foot and had a decent amount of pus come out of it," Machowsky said. "Everything is fine now."

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Machowsky said Caracortado could be considered for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 15, depending on the Snow Chief result.

The Snow Chief also will attract Alphie's Bet, winner of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on March 6 who was sixth in the Santa Anita Derby. Trainer Alexis Barba described Alphie's Bet's condition as "super" and said the Snow Chief is a must for colt.

"I'd be stupid to pass it up," she said.

A big result in the Snow Chief could lead Alphie's Bet to start in the Belmont Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on June 5.

"The Belmont is in the back of our minds," she said.

The Snow Chief Stakes is one of four races worth $150,000 or more on Saturday's California Gold Rush program for statebreds at Hollywood Park. The program includes four other races, worth $60,000 to $70,000, for statebreds maidens and allowance-class horses.

Setsuko taking 'wait-and-see' approach

Setsuko, second in the Santa Anita Derby, is currently 24th on the graded stakes earnings list with $180,000, leaving trainer Richard Mandella to consider the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park on May 8 as a possible prep for the Belmont Stakes.

Mandella would like to run Setsuko in the Kentucky Derby.

"We'll just wait and see," he said. "It looks like a slim chance to go. I'll still go about my business like I'll go to the Derby. Things can happen."