11/27/2012 3:28PM

Hollywood Park: Make Music for Me steps up for Native Diver

Barbara D. Livingston
Make Music for Me will meet a strong field in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes.

There are not many racing opportunities in non-claiming races for horses such as Make Music for Me, the 5-year-old horse who was fourth in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.

That’s why Make Music for Me will start in a tough running of the $250,000 Native Diver Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday in his first race since a win in mid-May.

“There is no other choice, unless I wait for Santa Anita,” trainer Alexis Barba said.

Unfortunately for Barba and her clients, Peter and Ellen Johnson, the competition is as tough in the Native Diver as any race in the older horse division.

The Grade 3 Native Diver, run over 1 1/8 miles, has drawn Richard’s Kid, Nonios and Game On Dude, who were fifth through seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Game On Dude was beaten 15 lengths as the 6-5 favorite.

“It’s pretty spicy for a horse coming off a layoff,” Barba said. “That’s the only downside. I hate to run in that spot. Hopefully, we’ll run into a bunch of tired horses.”

A winner of 4 of 26 starts and $529,100, Make Music for Me suffered a splint bone injury after winning an allowance race on turf here in May.

“It was not horrible, but it was enough to give him a little time,” Barba said.

Make Music for Me has one stakes win, in the Pasadena Stakes on turf in 2010. Two races later, he was beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Super Saver as a 30-1 outsider in the Kentucky Derby.

Make Music for Me will not be that high of a price Saturday, but a win would certainly be an upset.

Comma to the Top, Fast Bullet work

The sprinters Comma to the Top and Fast Bullet, nominated to Sunday’s $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes, recorded fast workouts Tuesday.

Comma to the Top, winner of two minor stakes since early September, worked a half-mile in 47 seconds at Hollywood Park, the fastest of 18 recorded works at the distance.

Fast Bullet, sixth in the BC Sprint on Nov. 3 in his stakes debut, breezed three furlongs in 36.20 at Santa Anita, the fastest of 13 works at the distance.