07/13/2007 12:00AM

Euroglide's composure is key


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - By the time Euroglide reaches the starting gate for Wednesday's $100,000 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar, trainer Peter Eurton and the partnership that owns the 3-year-old gelding will know whether they have a chance.

If Euroglide keeps his composure in the post parade and warm-up prior to the one-mile turf race, Eurton feels the gelding can be competitive. If Euroglide is nervous before the start, Eurton is pessimistic about his chances.

"His biggest problem is his mind," Eurton said. "He's so far ahead of himself physically. He's got to grow up mentally."

The best and worst of Euroglide's behavior has been on display in recent starts. Owned by a partnership that includes Frank Alesia, Mike Mellen, and Joe Ciaglia, Euroglide won a maiden race in March and an allowance race in April, both at Santa Anita, in his first two starts.

But in his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 20, Euroglide became upset during the post parade and finished sixth, 4 3/4 lengths behind race winner Time to Get Even.

"He melted on me in the post parade," Eurton said. "He got nervous and lost a lot of energy. I think that took a little bit away from him. He didn't run that bad, but you do have to be mentally strong to compete at this level."

The Oceanside Stakes is run over a mile on turf and will be Euroglide's first start beyond seven furlongs and first start on grass. The race has drawn 38 nominations, and is likely to have two divisions. The race has been divided every year since 1989.

"There are no issues with two turns," Eurton said.

Asked whether the rowdy crowd expected for Del Mar's opening day could affect Euroglide, Eurton said that it is concern. "I don't have a choice," he said. "I'll school him every day I can, but it won't be the same."

Eurton is taking precautions. Euroglide will have cotton placed in his ears to reduce crowd noise in the paddock and post parade.

"I'll have them take it out at the gate," he said. "If he gets to the post with some composure, I think he can be a big part of it."

Hollywood to get a rewaxing

Hollywood Park will close its main track on Monday to rewax the top layer of its Cushion Track synthetic surface, track president Jack Liebau said on Friday.

The project has been discussed since late June and was strongly supported by trainers who felt the surface had deteriorated in recent months. Some trainers have said they have seen a rash of recent back injuries that they believe were the result of horses having trouble gaining hind-end traction while exercising or racing.

Liebau said the project is not expected to last longer than a day. It is the first significant maintenance on the surface this year.

"I think we've learned a lot and it is a learning curve," Liebau said of synthetic tracks. "The day-to-day maintenance and care of the track is more difficult than we had anticipated. We've been working with the trainers committee. They've had a lot of input."

Hollywood Park's barn area will be at capacity this summer as a training center during Del Mar. Santa Anita's racetrack is closed this summer while a Cushion Track synthetic surface is being installed over the next several weeks. Santa Anita's track is expected to reopen for training in early September.

Baze opens big lead

The Hollywood Park jockeys race essentially ended on Thursday when leading rider Michael Baze rode three winners, pulling six clear of second-place Joe Talamo with three racing days remaining.

Baze said on Friday morning "that it would be pretty disappointing" if he did not win the title, which would be his first.

Both Baze, 20, and Talamo, 17, will have busy afternoons on Sunday's 11-race program, the final card of the spring-summer meeting. Baze has eight mounts, Talamo seven.

They both have mounts in the day's leading race - the $150,000 Sunset Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf. Baze rides Rush Rush, while Talamo rides Bright Prediction.

Baze finished ninth in the standings at Del Mar last summer. Even though he is on the verge of a riding title, he does not have high expectations for the upcoming meeting.

"It would be good to be in the top three," he said. "I don't want to be too cocky."

He may have the opportunity to do much better. Baze, and Talamo for that matter, is as in demand in the mornings as he is in the afternoons. Both Baze and Talamo are in the stables nearly every day, a practice that should gain them some top mounts.

Talamo will ride his first Del Mar meeting this summer. He loses his five-pound apprentice allowance later this month.

Scottsbluff vs. One Union in Kerlan

Scottsbluff and One Union, the first two finishers in the Flame Thrower Stakes on June 17, return in Sunday's Robert Kerlan Handicap over six furlongs on turf, the day's first race.

As was the case the last time they met, the speedy One Union has drawn the rail, while Scottsbluff has drawn a more favorable post, number 4 in the field of five.

One Union had the early lead in the Flame Thrower and finished three-quarters of a length behind Scottsbluff. The inside is not an ideal post, according to trainer Richard Mandella.

"It got us beat last time, but we have to hope it works better," Mandella said. "I'm just glad the race went."

The Kerlan was originally scheduled for July 8, but did not draw sufficient entries. The field of five for Sunday's race includes co-highweight Bonfante, the winner of the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita in April. Bonfante and Scottsbluff each carry 121 pounds.

* Del Mar will host an open house for racing fans from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday. Fans can watch the conclusion of morning training, and participate in a question-and-answer session with retired Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone. After training, fans can walk on the track's new Polytrack synthetic surface. The event is free.