05/15/2009 12:00AM

Fresh face dangerous in L.A. Handicap

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - From coast to coast in big races Saturday, many handicappers expect a hot new shooter will turn up the heat.

If it's not a filly in a Triple Crown race, it might be an allowance gelding from Australia in a graded sprint at Hollywood Park.

Dehere Again is live when he makes his North American debut for trainer Mike Mitchell in the Grade 3, $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap. The six-furlong sprint is usually lost in the springtime shuffle, and this year few will notice. West Coast sprinters are stuck in a bog.

Injuries (Georgie Boy, Bob Black Jack, and Johnny Eves), Dubai departures (Gayego, Two Step Salsa), and retirements (Midnight Lute, Street Boss) have made the sprint cupboard bare.

Almost-millionaire Siren Lure, the 119-pound highweight, is looking in the rear-view mirror at a stellar career. Unless Soul City Slew reproduces the career-best 102 Beyer he popped last out in his 39th start, the L.A. Cap can be won by a fresh face.

Enter the Australian import Dehere Again, training like a good horse for Mitchell. The top Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse sold the horse to Dan Capen and Bob Tjovold through bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell, who once worked for Waterhouse.

"She loves Boomer," Mitchell said, referring to Rounsefell's nickname, and the trainer said he believes Waterhouse touted Mitchell's future son-in-law Rounsefell on a good horse. Dehere Again came around quickly. His last start in Australia came in February; Mitchell ambitiously planned a stakes for his comeback.

Southern Hemisphere imports usually need several months to acclimate.

"But he didn't, and I haven't pushed him to do anything," Mitchell said.

Aaron Gryder has worked Dehere Again, and rides the 2-for-4 gelding. If the he runs as well as Mitchell expects, he can upset a modest field in his first start since being purchased for $102,000.

If not, then Guns on the Table could be loose. Bob Baffert has trained the son of Carson City throughout his career, a frustrating 12-race skein during which Guns on the Table was competitive in four stakes, but only won a maiden and an allowance.

Guns on the Table has changed owners since his last race. He is now owned by Summit Racing, Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust, Legacy Ranch, and Dennis Hogan. Bob Baffert still trains, and Tyler Baze rides the colt, who could make the front in an apparently paceless race.

Grade 1 winner Siren Lure won three modest sprints last winter at Golden Gate. But on Saturday, trainer Art Sherman admits, "You're hooking a different bunch of horses than you're hooking up North."

Siren Lure is only a third-place finish away from becoming a millionaire. An 8-year-old pro with 15 wins from 36 starts, he has earned $988,244.

Red Arrow fits off his highly rated (99 Beyer) second-level allowance victory one back; Doppio is a 9-for-22 pro; Northern Soldier likes the track; Paul's Hope finished a close third last time in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande.

* Hollywood was unable to fill its scheduled 12-race live card on Saturday. The card will include 10 races. First post time has been pushed back to noon Pacific.