06/10/2011 3:16PM

Hollywood Park: Majestic City a heavy favorite in Willard Proctor Stakes


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Even money turned out to be an overlay on Majestic City, who toyed with his competition May 21 in the strongest 2-year-old race of the spring meet Hollywood Park.

Majestic City won by 1 1/2 lengths with no urging, earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure, and made $4 seem like a gift payoff. The price will be shorter Sunday at Hollywood.

Majestic City faces five rivals in the $70,000 Willard Proctor Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong race in which the son of City Zip figures to be odds-on.

“I don’t mind being 1-to-5,” trainer Peter Miller said. “It means I am in the right spot.”

Any spot will do. Just three of 10 Proctor nominees entered, and officials had to scramble to make the race go, finally finding three outsiders to supplement for $1,400. The race is so unappealing from a wagering standpoint that it is carded as race 1.

Entrants include first-time starter Cast a Doubt, a fast-working Wildcat Heir colt trained by Jeff Bonde; and Joyzey Billy, who won his debut with a 45 Beyer. The supplementals are Truco Latino, sixth in his debut, and first-time starters Swordsmanship and Anne’s Seven Cats.

Miller has won the Proctor twice, including 2008 with Backbackbackgone. Are there any similarities to Majestic City?

“They’re both chestnut, and they both have speed,” Miller said. “I think this is a much better horse than Backbackbackgone.”

Purchased for $180,000 at a Florida 2-year-old sale, Majestic City is owned by a group that includes Mike Shustek and Jeff Bloom. First time out, he popped the gate, set the pace under David Flores, and won easily. His 86 Beyer is the country’s second-highest by a 2-year-old. Sum of the Parts earned an 88 on May 14 at Churchill Downs.

Miller is stocked with 2-year-olds.

“We’re pretty loaded this year, about 25,” he said.

None are as advanced as Majestic City.

“He trains like a very good horse, and he ran like a very good horse,” Miller said.

Miller is not worried about the additional furlong for Majestic City.

“He galloped out extremely strong in all his works,” he said. “You want to run in races like the Juvenile and Best Pal.”

The Grade 3, six-furlong Hollywood Juvenile is July 17; the Grade 2, 6 1/2-furlong Best Pal is Aug. 7 at Del Mar.

“We’re going one step at a time,” Miller said.