06/30/2011 3:07PM

Hollywood Park: Make Music for Me back from break with more stakes planned ahead

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Barbara D. Livingston
Make Music for Me got a freshening after his seventh-place finish in the Godolphin Mile.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Make Music for Me finished seventh in the Grade 2 Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 26, and then earned a well-deserved three-week break at a central California farm in early spring.

Saturday, Make Music for Me starts in an optional claimer over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park, a race that could lead to another start out of town in the near future. Trainer Alexis Barba said on Thursday that Make Music for Me will be considered for the Arlington Million in Chicago on Aug. 13 if he runs well on Saturday.

“This race will be a barometer of what to do,” Barba said.

Fourth in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, Make Music for Me has won 2 of 15 starts and $410,260 for Ellen and Peter Johnson. In the Godolphin Mile, Make Music for Me was seventh in a field of 14, in his third start of 2011. At Santa Anita in February, Make Music for Me was third in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes.

Barba said the colt benefited from the vacation after Dubai.

“I gave him a break because I said I wanted to do that,” she said. “I sent him up to the farm for three weeks. The horse is doing great. He’s always been a good work horse.”

Make Music for Me is part of a tough field of 10. Imponente Purse was second in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita in April. Leroy’s Dynameaux won the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes here in June 2010, but is winless in his last six starts. Kid Edward has not started since a third in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby here last October.

Some of those runners could return for the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on July 23.

Blind Luck eyes Gold Cup

Blind Luck, who won the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 18 for her second consecutive stakes win of 2011, will be nominated for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup against males on July 9, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.

Hollendorfer stopped short of committing Blind Luck to the Gold Cup, which is run over 1 1/4 miles and would be Blind Luck’s first start against males. The champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, Blind Luck worked five furlongs in 1:01 on Thursday, her first major exercise since the Vanity.

“We want to be able to look at the race,” Hollendorfer said of the Gold Cup.

Two options in the filly and mare division for Blind Luck are the $750,000 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park on July 9 or the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 6.

Workers' compensation costs increase

Workers' compensation costs rose in California on Friday, effective with the new fiscal year.

According to a statement released by the California Thoroughbred Business League – a group of racing associations, horsemen’s organizations, and county fairs that subsidize insurance costs – the fee for jockey mount insurance premiums rose to $140. Owners will pay $90 of the fee, up from $60, while a subsidy will pay the remaining $50.

On a related note, the guaranteed starter fee paid to owners whose horses finish sixth or worse in a Southern California overnight race has been reduced from $400 to $350, effective Friday. According to the statement released by the business league, the pool of money available for subsidized funds has declined in recent years.

The starter fee was originally implemented in 2004 to help owners offset costs such as insurance. In May, 2004, then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that increased the takeout on exotic wagers in California by a half-percent to offset workers’ compensation costs in the state.