11/22/2011 3:34PM

Hollywood Park: Bob Black Jack experimenting in Citation


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Bob Black Jack, who once held the six-furlong world record, will make his first start around two turns on turf in Saturday’s $250,000 Citation Handicap.

Bob Black Jack’s career has been plagued by injuries, which have limited the 6-year-old to 12 career starts. A gelding, Bob Black Jack has made only two starts in the last two years, winning the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap in February 2010 and finishing second in the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 29. In between, he was sidelined with a suspensory injury.

Trainer Jim Kasparoff was satisfied with Bob Black Jack’s performance in the Cal Cup Sprint and convince his brother Tim and co-owner Jeff Harmon to pay the $5,000 supplemental fee to the Grade 2 Citation, which is run over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

“I’ve wanted to stretch him out but haven’t had the opportunity,” Kasparoff said. “It would be easier to have him sound going longer. I think he’ll handle the grass fine.”

Bob Black Jack is by Stormy Jack, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on turf. Overall Bob Black Jack has won five races, including four stakes, and has earned $704,925. In the Sunshine Millions Dash at Santa Anita in January 2008, Bob Black Jack ran six furlongs in 1:06.53, a world record that has since been eclipsed.

Around two turns, Bob Black Jack has had mixed results. He was a second in the Santa Anita Derby and third in the San Felipe Stakes in the spring of 2008, but was 16th in the Kentucky Derby behind Big Brown after being involved in an early speed duel.

Bob Black Jack will be the horse to catch in the Citation, which is expected to have a sizeable field including Assessment, Calimonco, Jeranimo, John Johny Jak, Leroy’s Dynameaux, Make Music for Me, Monterey Jazz, and War Element.

Kasparoff is already having a successful Hollywood Park fall meeting. Sunday, his 2-year-old filly Made to Love Her won the Moccasin Stakes over seven furlongs, which could lead to a start in the $250,000 Holywood Starlet over 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 10, he said. Made to Love Her races for Copper Penny Stables.

David Flores will have the mount on Bob Black Jack in the Citation. Patrick Valenzuela rode Bob Black Jack in the California Cup Sprint, but Valenzuela failed to appear to ride at Hollywood Park on Nov. 17 and later told track stewards that he traveled to Kansas to be with his fiancee’s family’s for undisclosed reasons.

Valenzuela, 49, who has a history of substance abuse problems that have interrupted his career, must pass a drug and alcohol test and meet with stewards before he is allowed to ride. It is not clear when Valenzuela will approach stewards to begin that process.