05/11/2012 4:30PM

Hollywood: Amazombie likely for Triple Bend

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Jenny Burgos
Amazombie (6) runs second to Shackleford in the Churchill Downs Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Amazombie, second to Shackleford in the Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard last weekend, is likely to make one start at the current Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap on June 30.

The Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap is run over seven furlongs, and is the top sprint race of the meeting.

“I think that’s probably what we’ll do,” trainer Bill Spawr said. “I think in the right circumstances he can run that far.”

The champion sprinter of 2011, Amazombie is winless in his last three starts at seven furlongs, finishing second or third in each race, all graded stakes. He was third in the 2011 Triple Bend. A winner of 11 of 26 starts and $1,725,378, Amazombie won the Tiznow Stakes for California-breds over 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park in April 2011.

In the Churchill Downs Stakes over seven furlongs, Amazombie led or disputed the pace under jockey Mike Smith and was beaten a length by Shackleford, the winner of the 2011 Preakness Stakes.

The race scenario surprised Spawr, who thought other runners in the field of eight would go for the lead, allowing Amazombie to stalk the pace. Shackleford stalked Amazombie, and took over in the final furlong. The win left Spawr impressed by Shackleford, but wondering how the race might have turned out if it had been run over six furlongs “Mike said at the eighth pole, he could have opened up, but he had another eighth of a mile to go,” Spawr said. “He ran super.”

Spawr said the travel to Churchill Downs alerted the 6-year-old Amazombie what he was there for.

“He was awful anxious,” Spawr said. “He knew he was there to run. He’s normally like a pony. But I don’t want to make excuses for him.”

It is doubtful that Amazombie will race outside of California for the rest of the year. The long-term goal is the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November, a race that Amazombie won at Churchill Downs last November.

Staying home will avoid the travel woes that plagued Spawr last weekend. He said his flight was delayed and his luggage lost on a trip home last Sunday. He said that Amazombie’s journey back to California was completed without incident.

“The horse got back before I did, and his luggage showed up,” Spawr said.

Solis fined over medication

Trainer Walther Solis has been fined $500 after Oh Righty, the winner of the first race at Santa Anita on March 25, tested in excess of the permitted level of flunixin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, according to a ruling issued by Hollywood Park stewards on Thursday.

Oh Righty won a starter allowance by 2 3-4 lengths as a 14-1 outsider on March 25.

Cap Day to honor Derby winner

Hollywood Park is conducting a baseball cap giveaway next Saturday, honoring backstretch resident, and Kentucky Derby winner, I’ll Have Another.

I’ll Have Another is scheduled to start in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico that day.

Hollywood Park has a first post time of 11 a.m. next Saturday. The Preakness Stakes will be shown between the eighth and ninth live races.

I’ll Have Another trained at Hollywood Park through the winter, and won his only start at the track, a maiden race in his debut last July.