11/22/2013 2:14PM

Hollywood Park: Cyclometer must ration speed in On Trust

Benoit & Associates
Cyclometer comes into the On Trust Handicap after earning a 101 Beyer Speed Figure on Nov. 7.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Cyclotron could have been another in a long line of outstanding sprinters trained by Bruce Headley, but his career lasted only four starts.

“Every time he worked, he worked in black letters,” Headley said. “But he cracked his foot in half. He had a deformed foot. He still came back and won in [1:08.80]. I said I’m going to breed him.”

Cyclotron retired after his 2005 maiden win, and breeders offered minimal enthusiasm for the son of Grand Slam. He entered stud at Old English Rancho in 2007 and has had 16 foals make it to the races. Fourteen have won. There is little doubt which is the best.

Cyclometer, by Cyclotron, runs Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park, and if he reproduces the performance he gave in his smashing allowance win 17 days ago, the $100,000 On Trust Handicap is all his.

“He’s maturing. He’s grown up into a monster,” Headley said, not exaggerating by much.

Cyclometer, 5, has won 5 races and $250,554 from 15 starts and wheels back Sunday following the best race of his career – a 101 Beyer Speed Figure victory that stamps him as the one to beat Sunday.

Eight entered the $100,000 On Trust, for 3-year-olds and up bred in California, including 121-pound topweight Rousing Sermon, 7-year-old stakes winners Compari and Mobilized, horse for course Spirit Rules, and three others – Starspangled Heat, Maybe Tuesday, and Luckarack.

The field for the 7 1/2-furlong On Trust came up short on speed, a scenario that seemingly favors Cyclometer. He is likely to dictate the tempo; none of his rivals are as quick.

The dilemma is that a front-end trip is not necessarily the best trip for Cyclometer. In summer at Del Mar, Cyclometer set slow fractions in a turf route and still faded. Headley chalks it up to distance.

“After Del Mar where he showed so much speed, I decided to make him a sprinter,” Headley said. “He’s a big beauty, and he looks just like his sire.”

It will be Mike Smith’s job Sunday to ration Cyclometer’s speed over 7 1/2 furlongs around one turn. If successful, Cyclometer will give Smith his first On Trust victory. Headley won the stakes in 1989 with Stylish Winner and 1984 with Silveyville.

A good group will chase Cyclometer, including lightly raced Spirit Rules. The seven-start Spirit Rules, trained by Paul Aguirre, is the least experienced horse in the field and has an obvious affinity for the surface.

Spirit Rules has started four times at Hollywood. He lost his debut by a nose, and won his next three starts on Cushion Track, including a first-level allowance Nov. 8. Spirit Rules is in light with 114 pounds and poses a late threat under jockey Iggy Puglisi.

Rousing Sermon finished second last out in a minor stakes, while compromised by a speed bias. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the Grade 1-placed Rousing Sermon will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.

Mobilized seeks his first win since the 2012 Tiznow Stakes, which like the On Trust is a 7 1/2-furlong Hollywood sprint for California-breds. Mobilized is trained by Gary Mandella and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani.