11/07/2007 12:00AM

Clement, Pletcher barns gear up

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - The horse quality in the south side of Barn 62 at Hollywood Park took a major jump in class in the last week with the arrivals of Eastern trainers Christophe Clement and Todd Pletcher.

Clement has sent eight horses to California, while Pletcher has more than 20, with more expected in coming weeks.

Judging from the results the respective trainers had in California last year, expectations are high for both barns. Clement won with 6 of 12 starters at the 2006 Hollywood Park fall meeting and into the early days of the Santa Anita winter meeting.

Pletcher won with 8 of 30 starters during those meetings, including two Grade 1 stakes wins with Rags to Riches, the nation's leading 3-year-old filly.

Clement's stable will stay until the first of the year, according to assistant trainer Nicolas Bachalard, who will oversee the division. The stable has already had an impact, finishing first and third in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita on Sunday with Naissance Royale and Meribel. They will return in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes on Nov. 25 or the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap on Dec. 16, Bachalard said.

The barn also includes In Summation, winner of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar in July; Society Hostess, winner of the Monrovia Handicap at Santa Anita last January; and Vacare, winner of the Grade 2 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland last month, Bachalard said. Vacare is a candidate for the Matriarch Stakes.

"They're all pretty good prospects," Bachalard said.

The barn's horses arrived in Southern California on Tuesday, and had their first day of training Wednesday.

The Pletcher stable arrived in Southern California last weekend, and includes a deeper team of horses than last year. Rags to Riches is in Kentucky and is scheduled to be sent to California to resume training later this year, according to assistant trainer Michael McCarthy.

The Pletcher stable includes Sunriver, winner of the Bowling Green Handicap and a candidate for the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 8; Twilight Meteor, runner-up in the Hawthorne Derby who will start in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25; Ravel, winner of the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in February who is being pointed for the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap on Dec. 8; and Circular Quay, winner of the Louisiana Derby, who has not started since July.

Circular Quay "is just coming back," according to McCarthy.

Later this month, Wait a While and The Leopard will be sent here for the Matriarch Stakes and Generous Stakes.

"I think we're pretty good in spots," McCarthy said. "We've got some useful maidens."

One well-known maiden trained by Pletcher is The Green Monkey, purchased at a 2-year-olds in training sale for $16 million in 2006 by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. The Green Monkey finished third and fourth in two starts at Belmont Park this fall, and will start at Hollywood Park later this month.

Awesome Gem eyes Dubai World Cup

Awesome Gem, third in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27, has the $6 million Dubai World Cup in March as a springtime goal, trainer Craig Dollase said Wednesday.

Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Awesome Gem has been second or third in his last four starts, including runner-up finishes in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August and the Goodwood Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

Awesome Gem is being given several weeks off at a local farm and will return to Dollase's stable at Hollywood Park at the end of the month, Dollase said.

Awesome Gem's early-season goals for 2008 would be races such as the San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 3 and the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 1.

"We've talked about" Dubai, Dollase said. "I don't like getting too far ahead of myself. We'll see where he is when we get back in."

Dollase said Treadmill, winner of the CTBA Stakes at Del Mar, will not be ready for Sunday's $100,000 Moccasin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. The Moccasin is the richest race in the first week of the Hollywood Park fall meeting.

Treadmill has not started since being pulled up in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes on Sept. 3. She has worked regularly since mid-October, but Dollase said, "I've just run out of time."

The Moccasin Stakes will include Golden Doc A, Foxy Danseur, and Spring Awakening, the first three finishers of the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 20, and Sindy Jacobson, who is unbeaten and will be making her stakes debut.

Bilo targets On Trust Handicap

Bilo, winner of the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita last weekend, will make his next start in the $100,000 On Trust Handicap on Dec. 22, the closing day of the Hollywood Park fall meeting, trainer Marty Jones said.

"He does well with time between races," Jones said.

Bilo is owned by the estate of Eddie Nahem, who died Oct. 31.