12/09/2010 4:01PM

Cost of Freedom can't pass up stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Cost of Freedom, winner of the Vernon Underwood in his last start, will run in Saturday's $55,000 Miles Tyson Stakes at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Cost of Freedom starts in Saturday’s $55,000 Miles Tyson Stakes because the 7-year-old gelding seems too fond of the Hollywood Park Cushion Track surface to pass up the opportunity, trainer John Sadler said.

“We’re not so sure he’ll like the dirt, but we know he likes it here,” Sadler said.

Santa Anita recently installed a clay and sand track, ending an era of synthetic tracks there. On Hollywood Park’s synthetic track, Cost of Freedom has won half of his eight starts, including three stakes this year – the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap in June, the California Cup Sprint in October, and the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood Stakes on Nov. 25.

The Cal Cup Sprint and Vernon Underwood were similar wins in style. Cost of Freedom led throughout and won comfortably under jockey Joe Talamo, who has the mount Saturday for owners Gary and Cecil Barber.

The Miles Tyson is run over five furlongs, which will equal the shortest race of the year for Cost of Freedom. He was fourth, beaten a half-length, in the Green Flash Handicap over that distance on turf at Del Mar in August, his only start on grass. Considering Cost of Freedom’s speed, five furlongs on Saturday should be within his range, and he will be a heavy favorite.

The field includes one other 2010 stakes winner in Quick Enough, who won the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap over six furlongs on turf here Oct. 11. He was 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over five furlongs at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6, encountering trouble in the stretch.

Lt. Hopeful will be near the front. Fifth in the Morvich in his last start, Lt. Hopeful was pre-entered in the BC Turf Sprint but did not draw into the field from the also-eligible list.

Premier Pegasus points to Sham

Premier Pegasus, winner of the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs on Nov. 20, will pass the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 18, owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho said Thursday.

Cho said that Premier Pegasus will be pointed to the $100,000 Sham Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Jan. 15.

In his place, Cho plans to start Riveting Reason, who won a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 25 in his sixth career start. Earlier this year, Riveting Reason was third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes and eighth in the BC Juvenile.

“He’s been two turns and he’s in good condition,” Cho said.

The Grade 1 CashCall Futurity, run over 1 1/16 miles, will have a large field. The leading candidates include the stakes winners J P’s Gusto (Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity), Gourmet Dinner (Grade 3 Delta Jackpot), Comma to the Top (Grade 3 Generous Stakes), Clubhouse Ride (Barretts Juvenile), Rustler Hustler (Continental Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park), and Slammer Time (California Cup Juvenile). Other possible starters are Awesome Patriot, Boxeur des Rues, High Level Jeff, Industry Leader, Prayer for Relief and Ronin Dax.

Training picks up on Santa Anita dirt

Thursday morning was the second day of workouts on Santa Anita’s new surface, which opened for training Monday.

After only one recorded workout on Wednesday, there were 15 recorded works Thursday, including nine over a half-mile.

Trainer Jerry Fanning worked Booyah, winner of the 2009 Ralph Hinds Invitational Handicap at Fairplex Park, who went five furlongs in 58.60 seconds, the fastest of three works at the distance.

“I’d been there since Sunday,” Fanning said of his stable. “I galloped three days on it and then breezed. It was fast this morning. It seemed really good. You can’t hear them go by.”

Santa Anita installed the clay and sand track in late October and November, ending three years with synthetic surfaces.

On Thursday, trainer Jim Cassidy worked the maiden Move on Gypsy a half-mile in 47.60.

“It was a little test drive,” Cassidy said of the workout. “The horses are doing well over it.”

Cassidy said he planned a more extensive list of works on Friday and Saturday, when training activity is expected to intensify as more stables settle in advance for the winter-spring meeting that opens Dec. 26.