11/24/2011 1:56PM

Hollywood: Jeranimo back on short rest in Citation


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Just three weeks ago, Jeranimo was running against the best milers in the world at the Breeders’ Cup. It is not the normal inclination of his trainer, Mike Pender, to run the horse back on three weeks rest. But Pender said Jeranimo bounced out of the BC Mile as if it “didn’t take anything out of him,” and that’s why he’s accepting his high weight assignment of 122 pounds Saturday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The Citation, at 1 1/16 miles, is the premier race of the autumn turf festival for middle-distance horses. It is the ninth race on a 10-race card that begins at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. The Citation drew a field of nine, including John Johny Jak, who finished third to Jeranimo in the Oak Tree Mile before taking the restricted Lure at Santa Anita last month.

Off his best form, though, Jeranimo is the one to beat. He beat the highly regarded Mr. Commons in the Oak Tree Mile after finishing second earlier in the year to Acclamation in the Eddie Read at Del Mar. He also was a close third in the Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita. But what convinced Pender to go in the Citation had more to do with what he saw with his eyes, rather than on a printed page.

“The way he bounced off the plane after the Breeders’ Cup and went back to the track, there was no difference in his training,” Pender said Thursday morning at his Hollywood Park stable. “I’m worried a little bit about running him back, but looking at him, he gives every indication that the Breeders’ Cup didn’t take anything out of him.”

John Johny Jak has turned in a sharp series of races since moving to the barn of trainer Kristin Mulhall this summer. In the Lure, he defeated Assessment, Leroys Dynameaux, War Element, and Make Music for Me, all of whom are in the Citation.

“He’s doing really well,” Mulhall said Thursday morning after taking out John Johnny Jak for his morning exercise. “When he first came to me, his feet were really sore. Once we pulled the glue-on shoes off him, we found huge bruising all under his heels. He was short and crabby, but now he’s moving well. He’s a nice, long-striding horse. He’s gotten better and better. His feet have grown out, and we’re using a couple of hoof supplements. He should have a little more pace in front of him on Saturday.”

Assessment lost a nose decision to John Johny Jak in the Lure after getting away with an easy lead. That won’t happen this time, not with the speedy Bob Black Jack in the lineup.

Bob Black Jack returned from a 20-month layoff last month and finished second in the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. The Citation will be his first start on turf and his first race around two turns since the 2008 Kentucky Derby, in which he faded to 16th. His other two-turn races, also at age 3, were quite good, though. He was second in the Santa Anita Derby and third in the San Felipe.

Leroy’s Dynameaux, War Element, and Make Music for Me all had their late charges compromised by the moderate pace in the Lure. They should have quicker fractions to run into this time.

Calimonco never fired in the Oak Tree Mile, but he was a sharp third in the Del Mar Mile and beat John Johnny Jak in the Wickerr at Del Mar two starts back, so his best puts him right there.

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