06/05/2013 4:53PM

Hollywood Park: Chew, Litt going for first graded wins

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Lucky Primo, winner of the California Cup Classic last October, will start Saturday in the $200,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Becky Lou and Lucky Primo could provide trainers Matt Chew and Joshua Litt with milestone wins at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday – their first graded stakes wins.

Chew, 52, recalls winning stakes on the Northern California fair circuit in the 1980s. Litt, 43, has won two stakes for California-breds in recent years.

Saturday, they have runners in Grade 2 turf stakes. Chew starts Becky Lou in the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles. Litt starts Lucky Primo, the winner of the California Cup Classic last October, in the $200,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap over 1 1/4 miles.

Becky Lou, who races for Daniel O’Neill, has been pointed for the Honeymoon since she won an optional claimer over a mile on turf by a nose at 32-1 in her American debut at Santa Anita on April  18. Becky Lou was a maiden race winner in England last year.

Chew entered Becky Lou in an allowance race against older fillies and mares in May, but opted to wait for the Honeymoon.

“After looking at the competition, the allowance race was almost as tough,” Chew said. “It didn’t make sense.”

Becky Lou is part of a field in the Honeymoon that includes Scarlet Strike, Charlie Em, and Kyriaki, the first three finishers of the Grade  3 Senorita Stakes over a mile on May  11.

“We have to think she fits with this group,” Chew said of Becky Lou. “She trains like the distance will not be an issue.”

Litt may be starting Lucky Primo in the rich Whittingham Handicap, but he said the goal for the summer is the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap for California-breds over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 21.

“I really want to get a race into him,” Litt said. “I’d love to try and win it. Our goal is to get to the California Dreamin’. If he ran first or second, it would be awesome.”

The Whittingham field is led by Slim Shadey, the winner of the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita in January.

Lucky Primo is 7 and has won 6 of 16 starts and $437,616. He has been plagued by persistent knee problems, Litt said.

“You can only train on him so hard,” he said.