06/19/2013 2:28PM

Hollywood Park: Kinsale King 'eager' for return in Friday sprint

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Barbara D. Livingston
Kinsale King, shown here with trainer Carl O'Callaghan aboard, makes his first start since September 2011.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The brilliant but fragile sprinter Kinsale King returns to racing following a 21-month layoff in a five-furlong allowance race on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday.

Quarter cracks have plagued the 8-year-old in recent years, limiting him to 15 career starts and forcing owner Patrick Sheehy and trainer Carl O’Callaghan to take a patient approach. O’Callaghan says he is just content to see the gelding racing again.

“It will be a big day,” O’Callaghan said. “It will be good to have him back. You don’t see too many horses come back at that age.”

Kinsale King is best known for winning the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse in March 2010. Later that season, Kinsale King was third in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Since then, Kinsale King has made just six starts. He has been working regularly since mid-March.

O’Callaghan said that Kinsale King was based at Golden Gate Fields briefly earlier this month, with the intent of a start there. When the race failed to draw sufficient entries, Kinsale King was sent back to Hollywood Park.

“He’s had a lot of good works here at Hollywood,” O’Callaghan said. “He seems eager, like he was when he was younger.”

Kinsale King was last of nine in the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 7, 2011, his most recent start. He was fifth in the Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs on turf there in August 2011, his last grass race.

Kinsale King, who has earned $1,504,129, is winless in three career starts on turf. Friday’s distance is shorter than O’Callaghan said he would prefer.

“You have to start somewhere,” he said.

Friday’s race drew a field of seven, including the stakes winners Boat Trip, Chiloquin, and Summer Exclusive.

Summer Exclusive, trained by Peter Miller, has won 2 of 3 starts. The only 3-year-old in Friday’s allowance race, Summer Exclusive won the Harry Henson Stakes for 3-year-olds over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on April 25.

Chosen Miracle has placed in three stakes on turf, two of which were sprints. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Chosen Miracle was sixth in the Grade 2 American Handicap over a mile on turf May 25 and should benefit from Friday’s shorter distance.