05/28/2011 2:31PM

Hollywood Park: M One Rifle, Cost of Freedom renew rivalry in Los Angeles Handicap


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The rematch between M One Rifle and Cost of Freedom in Monday’s $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park is one subplot in the Grade 3 race over six furlongs.

M One Rifle broke Cost of Freedom’s 2010 five-furlong track record of 56.14 seconds when he won the Cool Frenchy Stakes in 55.98 seconds on May 7, outfinishing Cost of Freedom by a half-length.

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Even if they repeat those outstanding efforts on Monday, they must contend with Amazombie, a three-time stakes winner this year. The field also includes Supreme Summit, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs last fall, and the outsiders Camp Victory, Indian Firewater, and Gato Go Win.

Much of the betting will focus on Amazombie, who will be favored, and the first two from the Cool Frenchy Stakes. Cost of Freedom’s natural speed is likely to carry him to an early lead, which trainer John Sadler hopes will give the 8-year-old gelding an insurmountable advantage. “

He’s ready,” Sadler said.

“When I look at his numbers, he ran his race and he just got beat,” Sadler said of the Cool Frenchy. “They set a track record to beat his old record. Can that other horse run that race again?”

Trainer Bruce Headley insists that M One Rifle can run that well in consecutive starts. The winner of the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita in 2009, M One Rifle made his second start following a break of nearly nine months in the Cool Frenchy. M One Rifle finished fourth behind Amazombie in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita in early April, leading to midstretch before fading to lose by 2 3/4 lengths.

“It paid off having a rest,” Headley said. “He needed a race to get back.”

In the Cool Frenchy, M One Rifle was fourth early and closed from two lengths off the pace to win the third stakes, and shortest race, of his career.

“A track record always surprises you,” Headley said.

Amazombie, trained by Bill Spawr, has won stakes this year at distances ranging from six furlongs, the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita in January, to 7 1/2 furlongs, the Tiznow Stakes here on April 23.

In the Tiznow, Amazombie led throughout and was never threatened, winning by 2 3/4 lengths. In the Potrero Grande, he chased a fast pace and won from off the pace. A similar scenario is likely on Monday.