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Gallagher barn ready to roll
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The stakes sweep that trainer Paddy Gallagher scored on the weekend of Oct. 21-22 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting has been one of the highlights of his year. On Oct. 21, Berriestoheaven won the Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, followed a day later by Dilemma's win in the Sunny Slope Stakes for 2-year-olds.
Both of those sprint stakes were preps to races at Hollywood Park this weekend. Dilemma will start in Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes, while Berriestoheaven will return in Sunday's $100,000 Moccasin Stakes.
Both races are run at seven furlongs for 2-year-olds. With a month having gone by since his starters won, Gallagher fears that recent maiden winners will make a repeat of his October milestone difficult.
"It will be tougher this time, for sure," he said. "There will be some new bodies in there."
Gallagher will start two sharp horses.
Dilemma is seeking his third consecutive win, having started the streak with a win in a maiden race at Del Mar on Sept. 3. Owned by Leonard Lavin's Glen Hill Farm, Dilemma was a convincing winner of the six-furlong Sunny Slope Stakes, drawing off in the stretch to win by 2o1/4 lengths.
"It would be nice if he could move forward," Gallagher said. "He won well at Del Mar."
In the Grade 3 Prevue, Dilemma will face an intriguing field that includes Belgravia and Notional, who will be making their first starts in stakes. Belgravia, purchased for $2omillion at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of 2-year-olds in training, won a maiden race at Keeneland on Oct. 18 in his career debut. Notional was the easy winner of a maiden race at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 21.
Berriestoheaven chased a quick pace in the Anoakia and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Tizthen, who returns in the Moccasin Stakes. Gallagher feels that Berriestoheaven may have more to prove in the Moccasin after getting an ideal trip in her last start.
"She was doing her best work at the finish," Gallagher said. "It set up for her the other day, but she ran a good race."
Aside from Tizthen, who may set the pace, the Moccasin will include Jump On In. Trained by John Sadler, Jump On In scored one of the most impressive maiden wins of the Del Mar meeting on Aug. 6, but was only fifth in the Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 4. She emerged from that race with a badly grabbed quarter, Sadler said.
Silent Name to race next year
Silent Name, the winner of the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap in April and the sixth-place finisher in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs earlier this month, will remain in training in 2007.
Trainer Gary Mandella said the decision was made after the BC Mile by co-owners Frank Stronach and the Wertheimer family. Previously, Silent Name was expected to go to stud in Kentucky in 2007.
"We talked about it a couple of hours" after the Breeders' Cup, Mandella said. "He's very sound."
Mandella said that one of the reasons Silent Name will stay in training is to try him on a synthetic surface, such as Keeneland's Polytrack or the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park, in 2007.
"He really moved across the Polytrack much different than he would a conventional track like Santa Anita," Mandella said, referring to the way Silent Name trained last month at Keeneland.
Mandella said that Silent Name, 4, could start in the $400,000 Citation Handicap here Oct. 25, depending on how he works at Hollywood Park later this week.
"I won't make up my mind until I work him," Mandella said.
The Citation is expected to draw a strong field, including The Tin Man, the winner of the Arlington Million, and Becrux, the winner of the Woodbine Mile. Other expected starters are Ashkal Way, Cosmonaut, Hendrix, Place Cowboy, Rob Roy, Stormin Away, and Whilly.
Cohen drops appeals
Jockey David Cohen, who through Sunday was tied for eighth in the standings, has withdrawn appeals of four suspensions issued earlier this year and will serve 16 days from Wednesday through Dec. 6.
Cohen said Sunday that he feared that if he lost appeals in the court system, he would be forced to take the days during the more lucrative Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that starts on Dec. 26.
"I'll just take a vacation now," he said.
Three of the suspensions were issued during the Del Mar meet and one during the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.
Cohen said he intends to ride designated races during Thanksgiving weekend, including the Citation Handicap aboard Whilly.
Stevie Wonderboy gets in a work
Stevie Wonderboy, the champion 2-year-old male of 2005, worked a half-mile in 50.80 seconds on Saturday, his first workout since missing five days because of a quarter crack, trainer Doug O'Neill said.
Stevie Wonderboy has not started since finishing second to Brother Derek in the San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita in January. He missed the Triple Crown this year because of an injury to his right front ankle.
Stevie Wonderboy resumed training in late summer. O'Neill and owner Merv Griffin are hoping to start Stevie Wonderboy in the Gradeo1 Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26.
"We'll know more around Dec. 1," O'Neill said of Stevie Wonderboy's comeback. "I like where we are right now."
Top English rider passing through
Ryan Moore, the champion jockey in England this year, has been booked on two mounts on Thursday's eight-race program card. Moore was in California over the weekend, exercising horses for trainer Neil Drysdale.
He is hoping to gain additional mounts at Hollywood Park before leaving for Japan and Hong Kong on Nov. 28. Moore, 23, finished the English season with 180 winners.
* The California Horse Racing Board announced Sunday that any horses entering a board-regulated racing enclosure from a facility under quarantine for equine herpesvirus must have the consent of the racing board's equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur, before traveling. The announcement is a reaction to the outbreak of equine herpesvirus at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
* Tyler Baze had four winners on Sunday, ending the day with a front-running victory on the first-time starter Something Sonic ($4.80). Trained by Doug O'Neill for a partnership, Something Sonic finished 6o1/2 furlongs in 1:16.93, a quick time on Hollywood Park's new surface.