06/18/2013 2:19PM

Hollywood Park: Include Me Out may skip A Gleam to await Clement Hirsch

Benoit & Associates
Include Me Out (left), winning last weekend's Desert Stormer Handicap, may skip the A Gleam at Betfair Hollywood Park to be better prepared for Clement Hirsch at Del Mar.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Include Me Out, the multiple Grade 1 winner who won her 2013 debut in Sunday’s Desert Stormer Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park, may not race again until the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 3, trainer Ron Ellis said.

The winner of the Grade 1 Hirsch Stakes in 2012, Include Me Out was third in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita last November. Getting to the same race this year on Nov. 1 is a goal for Ellis and owner Samantha Siegel.

Include Me Out won the six-furlong Desert Stormer by three-quarters of a length over pacesetter Shumoos. The Ellis-trained Teddy’s Promise was a troubled third, bumping with Shumoos as the field entered the stretch.

Include Me Out and Teddy’s Promise could start in the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap over seven furlongs for fillies and mares on July 13, on the closing weekend of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting. If Include Me Out starts in that race, she would have three races in a span of seven weeks, Ellis noted.

“I’ve got to decide with Include Me Out whether I want to get another race in her before the end of Hollywood,” Ellis said Tuesday. “It’s seven weeks, so it’s a tricky time schedule. I don’t want to compromise her chances in the Clement Hirsch. She had a pretty easy race the other day.”

Include Me Out has won 7 of 14 starts and $956,030.

Teddy’s Promise is likely to start in the A Gleam, pending discussions with owners Ted and Judy Nichols, Ellis said.

Gomez expected back next week

Jockey Garrett Gomez, who has not ridden since June 9, is expected to return to racing June 27 after spending two weeks with his family, according to his agent, Tony Matos.

Gomez took off his mounts at Hollywood Park on June 13 for personal reasons, track stewards said at the time. Matos said the rider needed a break.

“He’s perfectly all right,” Matos said. “He said he needs a couple of weeks off.”

Gomez has won three stakes at the current meeting, including the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on Clubhouse Ride, a contender for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 6.

Kobe’s Back points to two stakes

Kobe’s Back, winner of the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes for 2-year-olds in his career debut last Saturday, is likely to start in the $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship over six furlongs July 13.

Trainer John Sadler has the Grade 3 Juvenile Championship and the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 4 as short-term goals for Kobe’s Back.

“Those are the two logical races,” he said.

Owned by Lee and Susan Searing, Kobe’s Back ran a remarkable race to win the Proctor over 5 1/2 furlongs. After breaking about three or four lengths behind the field, Kobe’s Back rallied to win by 3 1/4 lengths as the 9-5 favorite.

Winning rider Rafael Bejarano said on Sunday that he was “a little concerned” about Kobe’s Back’s chances after the start, but that the colt quickly gave him encouraging signs.

“He was so relaxed,” Bejarano said. “At the half-mile pole, I knew I’d win the race. I asked him a little bit, and it felt like I had a lot of horse. I had to find a little room in the stretch.”

Kobe’s Back was timed in 1:05.42. He earned a 68 Beyer Speed Figure for the win. The colt was purchased in March at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale for $480,000, the fourth most expensive hip in the sale.

Sadler said he purchased Kobe’s Back in conjunction with bloodstock agent David Ingordo.

“I said, ‘Show me the top colts in the sale,’ ” Sadler recalled. “He was one of them.”

Lee Searing, a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, named Kobe’s Back after Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who was injured shortly after the colt was acquired.

“We have all these 2-year-olds, so after Kobe got hurt, I said, ‘I know he’s coming back,’ ” Searing said after the Proctor. “I don’t know Kobe, but the bottom line is I’ve admired him every day he’s played basketball.”

Bryant is expected to resume playing for the Lakers in the fall.

Gold Cup field may be small

The Hollywood Gold Cup is not expected to have a large field.

Game On Dude, the 2012 winner, is expected to start, along with winner Clubhouse Ride and second- through fourth-place finishers of the Californian – Liaison, Oilisblackgold, and Kettle Corn. Tuesday at Santa Anita, Game On Dude worked six furlongs in 1:13.40.

Trainer Mike Pender said last week that Yomybato, winner of an optional claimer May 2, could be entered.