07/26/2011 11:50AM

Del Mar: Mandella hopes one of his two fillies can get job done in turf feature


DEL MAR, Calif. – Trainer Richard Mandella is hoping to have them surrounded in the featured seventh race on Thursday at Del Mar, both in terms of post positions and styles of running.

He’s already halfway there. Chalula One, the late runner of his pair, drew the rail in the one-mile turf race for second-level allowance females. And Mandella is hopeful that the speedy Linda Lou, the first horse on the also-eligible list, will draw into the $70,000 race.

“I’m trying to build my confidence with numbers,” Mandella said. “We’ve got one who does best when you take her back and make one run, and another who can make the pace or be close to it. I wouldn’t mind having a one-two punch.”

Both Chalulu One and Linda Lou are making their fourth starts of the year after missing all of 2010. Mandella said both mares had “fender benders, nothing serious,” and there was never any thought given to sending them to the breeding shed.

“We always thought they’d make it back, and we’ve got plenty of broodmares already,” he said.

Chalula One most recently finished second in a similar spot at Hollywood Park after two disappointing runs earlier in the year.

“I was surprised she didn’t do better those first two races,” Mandella said. “Maybe I’m getting older and slower.”

Linda Lou raced three times in downhill turf sprints at Santa Anita earlier this year after returning from a 14-month layoff. Her last win was going a flat mile on turf at Del Mar, when beating a first-level allowance field in August 2009.

There are 10 entered in the body of the race, and four also-eligibles.

All Star Heart looks like one of the leading contenders. Since moving to the barn of Ron McAnally, like Mandella a Hall of Famer, All Star Heart has won twice in three starts, her lone loss coming Feb. 3, when she slipped and fell on a treacherous spot on the Santa Anita turf course when making what appeared to be a winning move.

Off five months after that incident, All Star Heart returned to beat a first-level allowance field last time out at Hollywood Park on July 7.

Mutually Benefit also beat a first-level allowance field in her last start at Hollywood Park, and also has won twice in her last three starts, but she, like Linda Lou, needs to draw in from the also-eligible list.