06/20/2012 1:15PM

Hollywood Park: Chips All In using Tsunami Slew as springboard to richer turf stakes

Benoit & Associates
Chips All In is a nose shy of being 3 for 3 on turf in his career.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – For the rest of the year, a majority of the stakes for 3-year-olds in Southern California are on turf, a series that begins with the $68,000 Tsunami Slew Stakes on Friday evening at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The Tsunami Slew, run over a mile, may have a minor prize, but it builds toward three six-figure turf stakes around two turns at Del Mar later this summer.

With those races in mind, the multiple stakes winner Chips All In has been pointed to the Tsunami Slew for weeks. Trained by Jeff Mullins for a partnership, Chips All In has won 5 of 8 starts, and 2 of 3 on turf. The only blemish on that record is a second, by a nose, to Stoney Fleece in the Alcatraz Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Golden Gate Fields on May 12.

Chips All In won the Pasadena Stakes over a mile on turf at Santa Anita in March. In December, Chips All In, by North Light, won his stakes debut on turf in the Eddie Logan Stakes over a mile at Santa Anita. Mullins considered the Alcatraz as a race to keep Chips All In on schedule for the Tsunami Slew.

“We were pointing for this one,” he said. “It was a little too far between races.”

Chips All In will be favored in the Tsunami Slew, which features the stakes winners Tones and Unusual Heatwave and three others who are two-time winners – Boat Trip, Canuletmedowneasy, and Tiz Point.

Tones won the Baffle Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in February, but is winless in his last two starts. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Tones was eighth in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 4.

Unusual Heatwave won the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds on April 28, but was fourth in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap on June 3.

The Tsunami Slew is the stakes debut for Boat Trip and Canuletmedowneasy, who both have won back-to-back starts in maiden races and allowance races.

Boat Trip, trained by Mike Pender, is a closer. Canuletmedowneasy, trained by Mark Glatt, has raced near the front in his two wins, and starts at a mile for the first time.

“He’s got good speed, but it’s controllable speed,” Glatt said. “He lays close because that’s where he puts himself in a race.”