05/20/2011 3:41PM

Hollywood Park: Anthony's Cross ready to resume work

Benoit & Associates
Anthony’s Cross (right), winner of the Robert B. Lewis, is nearing a return to the work tab.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Former Kentucky Derby candidate Anthony’s Cross finally recovered from a nagging setback and is expected to resume a regular work pattern late next week.

Anthony’s Cross emerged as a top 3-year-old in February at Santa Anita. He won the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis, then finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby, a slow-pace race in which he fell too far back to make an impact. Trainer Eoin Harty still hoped to start him in the Kentucky Derby, though Anthony’s Cross had only $182,000 in graded earnings,

A week before the Derby, Harty pulled the plug.

“Every time I would do anything with him, he would spike a temperature,” Harty said. “After the fifth day, we finally found the cause of the problem.”

Anthony’s Cross had inflammation in his neck that required treatment with antibiotics. The problem went away after 10 days.

It turns out that Anthony’s Cross had sufficient earnings to draw into the Derby field, but the point was moot. He already was out. The son of Indian Charlie has returned to daily training, and Harty said he could post his first breeze next week.

Harty-trained Victor’s Cry, a 21-1 upsetter of the Shoemaker Mile a year ago, has resumed a steady work pattern after returning from Dubai, where he was fifth in the Grade 1 Dubai Duty Free.

“If there are no hiccups along the way, he’ll be ready for the Shoemaker Mile,” Harty said.

Victor’s Cry is 3 for 5 on the Hollywood turf.

Sidney’s Candy eyeing American

When the Shoemaker Mile was moved from its traditional Memorial Day spot back to July 2 as a concession to the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, Hollywood modified and rescheduled another middle-distance turf stakes. The Grade 2 American, formerly a nine-furlong turf race on July 4, instead goes at one mile May 28.

The shortened American distance benefits speedy Sidney’s Candy, who may return to turf after a runner-up comeback May 7. Sidney’s Candy is one of 19 nominated to the American.

Trainer John Sadler said “We’re leaning that way.”

He will postpone a decision until after weights are released Sunday. Sidney’s Candy, 6 for 12, finished second to Crown of Thorns on May 7 in the Mervyn LeRoy on the main track.

Sadler will aim Twirling Candy toward the Grade 2 Californian on June 4. The 4-year-old was considered the top main-track male in California until he finished fifth in the Santa Anita Handicap, his last start March 5. A foot problem postponed his subsequent campaign, but Sadler said “he worked like a monster” on May 16, five furlongs in 59.40 seconds.

The Usual Q.T. looks to rebound in American

The Usual Q.T. worked five furlongs Friday at Santa Anita and will be among the American favorites after a promising third-place comeback April 24 in the Grade 3 Inglewood.

“He wasn’t fit enough to do anything close to that,” trainer Jim Cassidy said, marveling at the three-quarter-length loss that followed an abbreviated work pattern.

Cassidy said he “missed a couple days” of training this week due to an uncharacteristic May rainstorm. The Usual Q.T. was timed in 1:01.80. In the American, The Usual Q.T. seeks his first win since last July in the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar.

Amazombie set for Los Angeles Handicap

The top sprinter in California is thriving on a busy campaign. Amazombie, back-to-back winner of the Grade 2 Potrero Grande and $125,000 Tiznow Stakes, his last start on April 23, will be back in action on Memorial Day in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap.

“We are running, we are flat running,” owner-trainer Bill Spawr stated Friday. “He’s doing too good; he gets better and better.”

Amazombie earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures winning three straight on the main track, including a 108 last out. Spawr said the six-furlong Los Angeles “will set us up for the Triple Bend,” a seven-furlong Grade 1 on July 2. Nominees to the Los Angeles include M One Rifle, Cost of Freedom, and Supreme Summit.

Turbulent Descent fires a bullet

Turbulent Descent continues to run, and train, like a beast. The two-time Grade 1 winner smoked five furlongs Thursday in a bullet 58 seconds as she moves closer to the Grade 1 Acorn on June 11 at Belmont Park. Working under regular jockey David Flores, Turbulent Descent broke off six lengths behind a stablemate and caught that one at the wire.

“She did it very easily,” trainer Mike Puype said. “It was nice and easy, she’s getting better and stronger.”

Turbulent Descent has won five of six, including a dominating five-length win April 17 in the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland.

On Sunday at Hollywood, Puype will start another fast 3-year-old filly. Orientatious, runner-up by a half-length first out while more than seven lengths clear of third, will be heavily favored in race 8, a maiden sprint. She earned a 95 Beyer first time out.

◗ Malibu Pier and Cozi Rosie, one-two finishers April 16 in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara at Santa Anita, are among 13 nominees for the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes that will be run May 30. Blind Luck was nominated to the Gamely, but plans currently call for her to run June 18 in the Grade 1 Vanity on the main track.