06/18/2008 12:00AM

Ez Dreamer lands in much better spot


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After Two Step Salsa roared down the stretch to win last Sunday's Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park, trainer Dan McFarlane was delighted that he had left Ez Dreamer in the barn.

"I don't think we would have beaten the winner," he said.

Instead of starting in the Grade 3 Affirmed, Ez Dreamer is part of a five-horse field in Saturday's $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap, a race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

To McFarlane, the small field and the turf race are a better fit for Ez Dreamer. When McFarlane realized that the Cinema had drawn a small field, he said, "Beautiful."

Owned and bred by Triple AAA Ranch, Ez Dreamer has won 4 of 11 starts and $173,899 and has never been worse than third, racing in California and Arizona. He has won two stakes in Arizona, and placed in three stakes in California, including a third in the Grade 3 Will Rogers at a mile on turf here May 17.

Ez Dreamer was beaten two lengths by Polonius in the Will Rogers after being stuck in traffic in early stretch.

"He had some trouble in a couple of his races and could have run better," McFarlane said.

Polonius is back for the Cinema, and will set the pace. The field also includes Liberian Freighter, making his graded stakes debut, and Tiz West and Robscarvic, fourth and fifth in the Will Rogers. Tiz West won the La Puente at Santa Anita in April in his stakes debut, but Polonius is the one that concerns McFarlane.

"We can't let him get an early lead," McFarlane said.

Dispute headed toward racing board

A dispute between the Thoroughbred Owners of California and Hollywood Park over whether trainer Doug O'Neill should have his starters sequestered in a 24-hour prerace detention barn appears headed to a hearing with the California Horse Racing Board. The penalty stems from an overage of the permitted level of bicarbonate, or total carbon dioxide, in one of O'Neill's horses earlier this year.

The two sides have been unable to reach a resolution in recent days over whether the detention barn period should be enforced, according to TOC president Drew Couto. The TOC, which represents owners in the state, contends that O'Neill's starters should be placed in the detention barn for 60 days following an overage found in postrace tests taken from Chicks Rule, the winner of a maiden claimer at Santa Anita in January.

Hollywood Park track president Jack Liebau has countered that racetracks should not be required to enforce the penalty despite a 2005 agreement between the TOC and California racetracks stating that tracks would provide detention barn space. Hollywood Park officials say the matter should be handled by the racing board, which penalizes trainers for bicarbonate overages. The track's position is a reversal from past years when it enforced the agreement, including a 30-day detention barn period for O'Neill in 2006.

The two sides are expected to have a hearing before the racing board, but as of Wednesday, no dates had been finalized.

The pending detention barn period for O'Neill is longer because it is his second offense.

O'Neill has said he is opposed to having his horses placed in a detention barn, citing the lack of a hearing.

O'Neill faces a possible sanction from the racing board for the excessive test. The $16,200 purse earned by Chicks Rule was redistributed earlier this year. At the time, O'Neill feared that Chicks Rule had been the victim of tampering.

Glitter City may go in Landaluce

Glitter City, a two-length winner of a maiden race in track-record time on Sunday, may make a quick return for the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes on June 28, trainer Jeff Mullins said.

Making her second start, Glitter City ran five furlongs in 56.74 seconds. She was second in a maiden race here on April 30. The Landaluce is run at six furlongs for 2-year-old fillies.

"All things considered, it was pretty impressive," Mullins said of the maiden win.

Glitter City, by City Place, is owned by the Florida pinhooker Murray Smith. Smith offered Glitter City at two juvenile sales earlier this year. Glitter City was listed as purchased for $150,000 by Mullins from Smith's consignment at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in-training, but ran in Smith's name last Sunday.

Considering Smith's background as a consignor, there is a possibility that Glitter City could be sold, although Mullins said that is far from a certainty.

"She doesn't want to sell her," Mullins said of Smith. "She's already had her in two sales."

Mullins does not feel that the quick turnaround from Sunday's maiden race to the Landaluce will hinder Glitter City.

"We gave her plenty of time" between starts, Mullins said.

Misty Ocean's target uncertain

Misty Ocean, the winner of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap on June 7 in her graded stakes debut, is likely to start again in July, but the venue and the race is uncertain.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Wednesday that he has yet to chose between the $750,000 American Oaks at 1 1/4 miles here on July 5 and the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at a mile on turf at Del Mar on July 26.

Hollendorfer said the distance of the two races will be a factor in the decision, which he will discuss in coming days with owner Jim Plemmons. Invitations for the American Oaks are scheduled to be released by Hollywood Park on Saturday.

Hollendorfer said it was "50-50" as to which race Misty Ocean would try.

"She may get the distance" in the American Oaks, Hollendorfer said. "I'm not sure if we want to try that now. We may wait for Del Mar."

Top apprentice serves three days

Jose Campos, the leading apprentice jockey at this meeting, is serving a three-day suspension this week for causing interference in the fifth race on June 11.

Campos, 20, was cited for his ride aboard Cee's Harmony, who was disqualified from fifth and placed ninth for altering course without clearance.

Campos's suspension began on Thursday and continues through Saturday. Through Sunday, Campos had won 16 races, leaving him eighth in the standings.