06/19/2006 11:00PM

Connections breathing easier

Moscow's Burning's most recent victory is the Pro or Con in February.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A sense of relief has fallen over owner Don Van Kampen and trainer Jim Cassidy following Moscow Burning's recent workouts.

The millionaire mare bled when she finished third as the favorite in the Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park on April 30, and the condition of her lungs has been a concern in the buildup to Saturday's $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap.

Cassidy has worked Moscow Burning four times in the last month and reports no setbacks, a positive sign in advance of what will be Moscow Burning's toughest race of the year to date.

"I haven't had any problems in the morning," Cassidy said. "She's put on weight and looks really good. I scoped her and haven't seen any blood. We gave her a bit more time since her last race, but I haven't done anything differently."

Moscow Burning will be trying to win her first graded stakes in two years in the Grade 2 Beverly Hills, run at 1 1/4 miles on turf for fillies and mares. Through most of her career, Moscow Burning has thrived in California-bred company, winning four stakes against statebreds en route to amassing 11 wins in 28 starts and earnings of $1,287,000.

She won the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap at Belmont Park in 2004, a victory that proved she is more than just a regional star.

Moscow Burning is the 121-pound topweight for the Beverly Hills. She will be seeking her first win since the Pro or Con Handicap at a mile on turf against statebreds at Santa Anita in February.

The Beverly Hills will not be an easy race to win. The other probable starters include Cissy, Dalacia, Dream Lady, Eternal Melody, Immortalite, Live Life, Memorette, Sohgol, and Tanta Suerte.

Dream Lady, trained by Bobby Frankel, was supplemented for $3,000 last Saturday. She will carry 115 pounds.

In all likelihood, Moscow Burning, 6, will be retired at the end of the year. Cassidy and Kampen are hoping that she can finish her career with a flourish. A win on Saturday would be an added bonus.

Genre, Obrigado top Cinema field

Sunday's feature race is the $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Genre and Obrigado share top weight of 118 pounds. The race lacks the division leader Stratham, a two-time stakes winner who has been sidelined for the rest of the year with an injury.

Obrigado, trained by Neil Drysdale for Gary Seidler and Peter Vegso, was third in the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes behind Stratham on May 21. It was the stakes debut and first start in this country for Obrigado, a gelding who began his career in France.

Genre has not started since finishing second in the La Puente Stakes at a mile on turf on April 15, a race also won by Stratham.

Other probable starters include Chadlington, Film Fortune, New Joysey Jeff, Niagara Causeway, and The Five J's. Drysdale said last weekend that Corey County, who was fourth in the Will Rogers, would pass the race.

Rematch for three in Gold Cup

The first three finishers from the Grade 2 Californian Stakes last Saturday - Dixie Meister, Super Frolic, and That's an Outrage - are likely to reappear in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 8. They will face defending champion Lava Man, who is unbeaten in four starts this year.

Dixie Meister won his first graded stakes in the Californian. Owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Julio Canani, Dixie Meister was a stakes winner in Texas last year when trained by Steve Asmussen.

Super Frolic, who finished a length behind Dixie Meister, ran his best race of 2006 in the Californian. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, he was eighth in the Donn Handicap and ninth in the Dubai World Cup earlier this year.

"Our goal was to kind of get him fresh in this race" for the Gold Cup, Cerin said.

That's an Outrage, sent off at 35-1, closed from seventh to finish 1 1/2 lengths behind Dixie Meister in the Californian.

The Gold Cup will also include Magnum, the winner of the Lone Star Park Handicap in Texas last month and the runner-up to Lava Man in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap in March.

The Gold Cup field will not include Spellbinder, who finished sixth in the Californian as the 2-1 favorite. He dueled for the lead with Yes He's a Pistol before fading. Trainer Richard Mandella said that Spellbinder will be pointed for the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 22.

Japanese talent in two stakes

Dance in the Mood and Asahi Rising, stakes winners from Japan, arrived at Hollywood Park on Monday to begin preparation for two $750,000 races on July 1 and 2.

Dance in the Mood, who finished second in the 2004 American Oaks, is being pointed for the CashCall Mile on turf on July 1.

Asahi Rising will start in the Grade 1 American Oaks at 1 1/4 miles on turf on July 2. Last year, the Japanese-based filly Cesario won the American Oaks, the first horse from that country to win a Grade 1 in the United States. She was retired earlier this year.

Stevie Wonderboy back with O'Neill

Stevie Wonderboy, the champion 2-year-old male of 2005, has returned to trainer Doug O'Neill's stable after spending four months sidelined because of a cannon bone injury.

Stevie Wonderboy has not raced since finishing second to Brother Derek in the San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita in January, his lone start this year. A winner of 3 of 6 starts and $1,058,940, Stevie Wonderboy was found to have the leg injury after a workout in February.

Owned by Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy will be tack-walked for a half-hour each day for a month before beginning exercise, O'Neill said.

* The Thoroughbred Owners of California will hold a conformation clinic on the Hollywood Park backstretch on Saturday. The two-hour program begins at 10 a.m. and features discussions with trainers Don Chatlos, Jamie Lloyd, and Gary Sherlock on soundness and conformation. For further information, call (800) 994-9909.