07/18/2011 4:40PM

Del Mar: O’Neill, Baffert loaded with juveniles

Benoit & Associates
Majestic City (center), with David Flores up, flies by Brigand (right) and Night Tide on his way to victory in Sunday’s Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Hollywood Park.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Doug O’Neill sent out the final 2-year-old winner of the meet at Hollywood Park on Sunday. At Del Mar, he comes loaded with several promising runners, most notably the Flower Alley colt I’ll Have Another, a powerful debut winner at Hollywood Park who is pointing to the Grade 2, $150,000 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 7.

O’Neill wins here, and he wins there. Winning! But the colt all admirers of pop-culture references will most follow has to be Adonis D N A, an Unbridled’s Song colt named for an aspect of one of actor Charlie Sheen’s rants.

Whether Adonis D N A needs tiger blood to perform at his best remains to be seen.

O’Neill won the Del Mar Futurity in 2005 with Stevie Wonderboy, and a member of that colt’s first crop, Runstevierun, is among O’Neill’s top prospects for the summer, he said.

For those horses to shine, though, they will have to usurp Majestic City, the pro-tem leader of the local division following his victory in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship on Sunday, as well as Creative Cause, who was a dazzling winner of his debut Saturday at Hollywood Park for trainer Mike Harrington.

Majestic City could come back in the Best Pal, but he may await the Grade 1, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on closing day Sept. 7, according to Jeff Bloom, who heads the partnership that owns Majestic City.

Peter Miller, who trains Majestic City, is represented on the opening-day card by the filly Punch Drunk, who is making her debut in the fourth race, at five furlongs.

“She’s nice. Fast. Very quick,” Miller said.

Another first-timer in that race who is expected to show keen speed is Love My Way, who “has worked great from the gate twice,” according to her trainer, Mike Machowsky. But they will have to beat Cha Cha Latte, a strong second in her lone start at Hollywood Park for trainer Kathy Walsh.

Machowsky has a pair of colts he expects to do well this summer – Hodge, a son of City Place; and Currahee, who is by A.P. Warrior.

“I’m kind of excited about both,” Machowsky said.

Bob Baffert, who has won the Del Mar Futurity nine times since 1996, has brought a large contingent of 2-year-olds to Del Mar, and though he has no fillies in the opening-day race, on Monday he said he’d be in “every other 2-year-old race of the meet,” beginning Saturday, in a 5 1/2-furlong race for males.

Baffert had yet to decide who he would run this weekend, but the colts to watch from his barn include Stirred Up, who is by Lemon Drop Kid; Gun Boat, who is by Congrats; and a Lawyer Ron colt whose name has yet to be approved. Baffert said he thought the Lawyer Ron colt would end up being named Volt.

Dreamcaster, a filly by Bernardini, also is among the top prospects in Baffert’s barn.

Baffert also remains high on Brigand and Night Tide, who chased home Majestic City in the Hollywood Juvenile.

Jerry Hollendorfer has a top prospect scheduled for the Saturday maiden race in Red Danger, a son of Value Plus. Hollendorfer also trains Killer Graces, the filly who rallied to take the Landaluce Stakes on Saturday at Hollywood Park. She could come back in the Grade 3, $150,000 Sorrento Stakes on Aug. 5 or await the Grade 1, $250,000 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 3, assistant trainer Dan Ward said Monday.

John Sadler has a deep pool of 2-year-olds from which to draw, including Sweet Swap, a colt by Candy Ride who is a full brother to Sidney’s Candy. Sadler said another top colt could be Majestic Moment, by Malibu Moon.

Sadler said his best filly prospects are Regal Betty, who is by Congrats, and Eileen’s Dream, a $500,000 auction purchase who is by Bernardini.

Ron McAnally may be down on numbers of horses these days, but the Hall of Fame trainer is having a terrific year and it could get better with the fillies he has assembled here, including Charm the Maker (by Empire Maker), Special Charm (by Dansili), and Causeway Express (by Rock Hard Ten).

“They’re ready,” he warned. “They’ve been training well, and they have the breeding.”

Maybe they even got some of that Adonis DNA in their genes.