06/19/2011 6:47PM

Hollywood Park: Emerald trainer Vann Belvoir collects first win in Southern California


INGLEWOOD, Calif.- Trainer Vann Belvoir was at his base at Emerald Downs outside of Seattle watching on television when he won the first race of his career at Hollywood Park on Saturday with Macho Dorado.

“We were bouncing around the office,” he said. “We thought we’d won the Kentucky Derby.”

It was a milestone win, and could be the first of several new successes in Southern California this summer for Belvoir, who plans to have as many as 12 horses at Del Mar this summer.

Currently ranked second in the standings at Emerald Downs, Belvoir said on Saturday that has asked for eight to 12 stalls at Del Mar this summer. Considering that Del Mar did not have a full barn area in 2010, when many stables stayed at Hollywood Park and the general horse population was down, stall space should not be an issue on a circuit that is desperate to attract new participants.

“I’m hoping we’ll be able to get some stalls,” he said. “That’s our game plan. A lot of my clients are in Washington and California.”

Belvoir, 37, has 50 horses at Emerald Downs and 11 at Golden Gate Fields. In 2009, he was third in the trainer’s standings at Emerald and was second last year.

“I’ve got a good crew and that helps,” he said.

Belvoir said his Del Mar team will include Macho Dorado, who won an optional claimer; Jade Taylor, a maiden race winner at Golden Gate Fields on June 2; and Mack’s Golden Bullet, a stakes winner at Emerald Downs last summer who was fourth in the Auburn Stakes there on May 30.

A former leading rider in the Northwest, Belvoir rode 1,347 winners. He has been training since 1996, and is the son of current Emerald Downs leading trainer Howard Belvoir.