04/30/2013 11:49AM

Hollywood Park: Dubai You X Y Z has tactical edge in Thursday allowance

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Benoit & Associates
Dubai You X Y Z has a prep under his belt and is the speed of the Thursday feature.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When racing programs change, some stakes disappear. It happened to the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap, a turf route at Betfair Hollywood Park that was eliminated from the track’s spring schedule during a recent round of cuts.

But elimination of an early-season stakes does not kill the program.

Opportunities on the West Coast remain to prep for middle-distance turf stakes later in the meet – the Grade 2 American Handicap on May 25 and Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on June 29. Those races could draw from the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile run last weekend at Golden Gate, such as one-two finishers Tigah and Summer Hit.

Others have been entered in a good allowance race Thursday at Hollywood that looks like what the Inglewood might have looked.

Three of the seven runners in the race-5 allowance won big races in 2012. Willyconker won the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe at Santa Anita; Wilkinson won the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood; and Lucayan won a Group 1 in France. Ashtar won a Group 1 in Chile in 2011.

But the horse to beat Thursday has not won a stakes, yet. Dubai You X Y Z enters the $62,000 allowance Thursday with a prep race under his belt and a running style that could give him a tactical advantage over the closers who will try to run him down.

The conditions of the 1 1/16-mile turf allowance restrict it to the top of the division. The race is for nonwinners of three other than; or nonwinners of a race since June 1, 2012; or $80,000 claiming.

Dubai You X Y Z has won 5 of 8, including three allowances, but his most recent win was in April 2012. Owner-trainer-breeder Mark Tsagalakis took a shot in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile last year, and Dubai You X Y Z finished sixth by three lengths. Not bad, even if his form was tailing off. Tsagalakis put him away.

When the 6-year-old gelding returned March 28 from a nine-month layoff in a turf sprint at Santa Anita, Tsagalakis believed he needed the start. Dubai You X Y Z ran well and finished second. It was the ideal prep race from which to stretch to two turns.

Thursday, Dubai You X Y Z goes long under Brice Blanc. He should get a forwardly placed trip in a race without much speed. If he improves second start back, he can win. If not, several good closers will roll late.

Wilkinson raced twice in graded route stakes in winter, including a runner-up finish in a Grade 2. Last out, he finished fifth in a live race that produced two winners, including San Francisco Mile winner Tigah. The last time Wilkinson ran on turf at Hollywood, he won the American Handicap at 44-1. Jeff Mullins trains, Martin Pedroza rides.

Willyconker is a 6-year-old entered for the $80,000 claim tag by trainer Doug O’Neill. Jockey Edwin Maldonado takes over.

Lucayan won a Group 1 last spring in France, although reports from Europe suggested his 27-1 upset was something of a fluke. David Flores is named to ride Lucayan.

Temple’s Door and Causeithertz also were entered.