12/08/2011 5:00PM

Hollywood Park: Briecat sets sights on 2012 after Cool Air Stakes victory

Benoit & Associates
Briecat, under jockey Victor Espinoza, gets her first victory of 2011 in Wednesday’s $66,640 Cool Air Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Briecat will be pointed to a range of stakes in 2012 after winning for the first time in 2011 in Wednesday’s $66,640 Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Trainer Vladimir Cerin said he plans to start Briecat in races from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles early next year, with the minor Paseana Stakes for fillies and mares in early January as a possible next start.

In the Cool Air Stakes, Briecat ($15.40) closed from fifth in a field of seven to win the six-furlong turf sprint by a nose over even-money favorite Givine. Home Sweet Aspen, winner of the Louis Rowan Stakes at Santa Anita in October, faded through the stretch to finish last of seven as the 9-5 second choice in the betting.

Briecat was timed in 1:09.44, winning her first stakes since the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park in October 2010.

“I didn’t think she could get up at six furlongs, but it worked out okay,” Cerin said.

Briecat has won on synthetic, turf, and dirt tracks, giving Cerin more options in coming starts. The 6-year-old mare is owned by David and Holly Wilson and has won 10 of 29 starts and $627,567. She has won eight stakes.

Morning Line joins Shirreffs’s barn

Morning Line, winner of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct last April, has joined trainer John Shirreffs’s stable at Hollywood Park for an expected 2012 season.

Shirreffs said Thursday that Morning Line has been with his stable for 10 days, having undergone some training at WinStar Farm in Kentucky in November. Shirreffs said he has no race goals in mind for Morning Line, who has not started since finishing 11th in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga in August.

Previously trained by Nick Zito, Morning Line, 4, has won 4 of 12 starts and $1,122,300.

On Thursday, the Shirreffs-trained Mr. Commons worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds, the fastest of 35 recorded works at the distance.

Fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, Mr. Commons is scheduled to make his next start in the $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

Stoney Fleece eyes CashCall Futurity

The $750,000 CashCall Futurity could draw a full field of 14 runners, according to racing department officials.

As of Thursday, there were 14 2-year-olds considered candidates, including Del Mar Futurity winner Drill and Stoney Fleece, winner of the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on turf on Nov. 27.

Stoney Fleece must be supplemented for $30,000. A California-bred, Stoney Fleece was third in the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in October.

“He came out of the last race in super fashion,” said Larry Benavidez, assistant to trainer John Sadler.

Benavidez said no plans had been finalized on whether Stoney Fleece would start in the CashCall Futurity, which is run over 1 1/16 miles.

◗ Smash, second in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes at Calder in July, worked three furlongs in 36.80 seconds Thursday and is a candidate for the $250,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

◗ Jockey Garrett Gomez took off his mounts Thursday, citing illness, according to track stewards. Through Wednesday, Gomez was sixth in the standings at the autumn meeting with nine wins. Joel Rosario and Rafael Bejarano were tied for the lead with 21 wins each.

◗ Wednesday was the first day of two five-day weeks of racing to conclude the autumn meeting, which runs through Dec. 18. Despite outstanding weather, with clear skies and temperatures in the low 60s, Wednesday’s program was not well-supported. An ontrack crowd of 1,329 contributed to an all-sources handle of $4,325,169.