04/22/2011 3:09PM

Hollywood Park: Jeranimo back quick for Inglewood Handicap


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Everyday training seems to bore the multiple stakes winner Jeranimo, trainer Mike Pender says.

The 5-year-old seems more interested in racing, which is why Pender has no hesitation in starting Jeranimo in Sunday’s $100,000 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park, 15 days after a third-place finish behind Liberian Freighter in the Grade 2 Arcadia Mile at Santa Anita.

“He doesn’t like to train,” Pender said. “He doesn’t like to breeze. He does it, but it’s more of a chores. He likes to run.”

Pender has done this sort of quick turnaround before, successfully. Jeranimo finished a troubled fourth in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita on Jan. 30, 2010, and won the Grade 2 Strub Stakes two weeks later.

The quick turnaround between the Arcadia and the Inglewood may keep Liberian Freighter from a start. Trainer Neil Drysdale said Friday that the San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields on April 30 is a possibility for Liberian Freighter.

“It’s definitely close,” Drysdale said. “We’re looking at the San Francisco Mile as well.”

There are only six entrants in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap, run over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Since Jeranimo has closed well in his last two starts over a mile on turf, Pender thinks the colt can excel in the slightly longer Inglewood. He ranks an allowance race win by Jeranimo over 1 1/16 miles on turf last November as one of the colt’s finest wins. Jeranimo has won 5 of 18 starts and $504,400 for owner B.J. Wright.

In the Arcadia, Jeranimo was 5 1/2 lengths off the pace with a furlong remaining and was beaten three-quarters of a length by Liberian Freighter.

“The poor horse didn’t run until the final sixteenth,” Pender said. “Hopefully, we can get Hollywood off to a good start.”

The field includes three other stakes winners – Kelly Leak, Ryehill Dreamer, and The Usual Q.T. – and one stakes-placed runner, Honour the Deputy, second in two stakes on the main track at Santa Anita earlier this year.

Ryehill Dreamer, winner of an allowance race on turf at Santa Anita on March 11, is expected to set the pace. Kelly Leak was sixth in the Joe Hernandez Stakes at Santa Anita on March 18.

The Usual Q.T. has not started since finishing second in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita in January. He later battled a foot problem. Trainer Jim Cassidy warned earlier this week that The Usual Q.T. may need a start in the Inglewood before reaching peak fitness.

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