06/08/2011 3:36PM

Hollywood Park: Haimish Hy facing dangerous speed

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Haimish Hy will again face Acclamation, to whom he ran third in the Jim Murray, in the Charles Whittingham.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – With trepidation, trainer Art Sherman will start Haimish Hy in Saturday’s $250,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park.

“I don’t think we have the right scenario,” Sherman said.

Sherman is worried that Acclamation, who will go favored, will have an easy lead in the Grade 1 race over 1 1/4 miles on turf and prove impossible to catch, especially for a closer such as Haimish Hy.

“I wish he wouldn’t drop back as far as he does,” Sherman said. “He’s got in the pattern of doing that. We have to hope everything falls apart. It’s the only shot I’ve got.”

Still, Sherman is not ducking the race. Haimish Hy was third behind Acclamation in the Grade 2 Jim Murray Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf on May 14. Last fall, Haimish Hy chased a slow pace in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby over the same 1 1/4 miles on turf and rolled through the stretch to pull a 14-1 upset.

Sherman fears that conditions have changed at Hollywood Park.

“The way the track’s been playing, it’s hard to make up ground,” Sherman said. “It seems like no one comes back. I hope he can hit the board.”

Tyler Baze will ride Haimish Hy, replacing Mike Smith, who was expected to go to Belmont Park for Saturday’s card, but will now remain in California. Smith was booked to ride Irrefutable in the True North Stakes, but trainer Bob Baffert said the colt has suffered a bruised foot.

Sherman had already given the call on Haimish Hy in the Whittingham to Baze when Smith’s agent, Brad Pegram, inquired about regaining the mount.

Baze will be aboard a 4-year-old colt who has won 5 of 15 starts, $332,980, and is a two-time stakes winner. Acclamation is the defending champion in the Whittingham. Aside from Haimish Hy, his main rival is Bourbon Bay, who won the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita in January but has not started since finishing 11th in the $5 million Sheema Classic in Dubai on March 26.

Past reflects well on Whisper Louise

Even without a start in eight weeks, Whisper Louise’s status has risen among the world’s 3-year-old fillies.

Whisper Louise starts in a competitive $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, her first start since a game second-place finish in her American debut in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita in April. The Providencia was a promising first start of the 2011 season for Whisper Louise, and her final start in England last fall has grown in stature in recent weeks, too.

Last October, Whisper Louise was third in the Montrose Stakes at Newmarket to Blue Bunting, who has since won the English 1000 Guineas and was fourth in the English Oaks last Friday, missing third by a nose when jockey Frankie Dettori eased her down in the final strides and was caught on the line.

In the Providencia, Whisper Louise closed from seventh in a field of nine to finish second, three-quarters of a length behind Cambina, who rallied from eighth.

“She really impressed me,” Cassidy said. “I was over the moon with her. She looked like she’d win it and [Cambina] came up and got us.”

The Honeymoon Handicap is run over 1 1/8 miles on turf and is a prep for the $250,000 American Oaks over 1 1/4 miles on turf on July 16. Cambina is back in the Honeymoon as are Star Billing and Entrustment, the first two finishers of the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes on May 7.

Akkadian switching surfaces

Coil, the winner of an optional claimer over six furlongs on May 6, will be favored in Saturday’s $100,000 Affirmed Handicap for 3-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles, but he is not the only last race winner with promise in the field.

Trainer Julio Canani starts Akkadian, who has won 2 of 4 starts, the most recent of which was an optional claimer over a mile on turf on April 28. Akkadian rallied from fourth in a field of eight to win by a neck.

Canani said the surface switch is a chance worth taking. “He’s by Tiznow and he trains good on this” track, Canani said. “He ran a good race last time, but a mile is too short for him.”

Bob Baffert trains Coil, and also entered Awesome Patriot, the winner of the Alydar Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on May 8.

The Usual Q.T. still hunting for win

The Usual Q.T., winless in seven starts since July, will make his next appearance in the $100,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap for statebreds at Del Mar on July 24, trainer Jim Cassidy said.

A 5-year-old gelding, The Usual Q.T. has been third in two stakes at Hollywood Park this spring – the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap on April 24 and the Grade 2 American Handicap on May 30. “I want to find a softer spot for him,” Cassidy said.

The California Dreamin’ is run over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Last summer, The Usual Q.T. won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar.