11/15/2011 5:21PM

Hollywood Park: McAnally strong with small barn

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Benoit & Associates
Charm the Maker is headed to the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 10 following her victory in the Sharp Cat Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Ron McAnally doesn’t have the large stable he once had, but the Hall of Fame trainer hasn’t lost his touch. He will send out Goldwaki in Saturday's Hollywood Turf Cup, is readying All Star Heart for the Matriarch Stakes on Nov. 25, and has one of the most promising 2-year-old fillies on the West Coast in Charm the Maker, who is headed to the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 10 following her victory Sunday in the Sharp Cat Stakes.

Charm the Maker raced wide throughout to win the Sharp Cat, which was only her third start. She won her debut at Del Mar, then was a close third in the Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita. Her progression has not been a surprise. McAnally and his wife, Debbie, bred Charm the Maker, a daughter of Empire Maker, and bought her back for $400,000 at auction; they had a $500,000 reserve on her. And before she ran this summer, McAnally’s long-time veterinarian, Dr. Jack Robbins, was touting Charm the Maker to one and all.

“She stands out,” McAnally said. “She’s a nice-looking filly. A nice, long-striding filly.”

Though the Starlet is the obvious next objective, McAnally said he would be inclined to try Charm the Maker on turf at some point. Her dam, the Giant’s Causeway mare Charm the Giant, was a stakes winner on grass.

“She’s bred all over for turf,” McAnally said.

Liaison gives Baffert more options

The victory by Liaison in the Real Quiet Stakes on Saturday adds him to a list of possible CashCall Futurity runners for trainer Bob Baffert, who also has Drill, Secret Circle, and So Brilliant under consideration for the 1 1/16-mile race on Dec. 17.

“I could have four starters in the race, or three, or two, or one, or none,” Baffert said.

Liaison has now won twice in three starts. He finished third in his debut at Del Mar, then defeated maidens sprinting at Santa Anita.

Drill, who disappointed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, is being wheeled back for the Delta Downs Jackpot on Saturday at Delta Downs.

Secret Circle captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint earlier this month.

“We’ll see if he can stretch out,” Baffert said.

So Brilliant will have his Futurity prep on Thanksgiving Day, when he runs in the seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue.

Funeral services for Slender

Funeral services were held Tuesday in Encinitas, Calif., for former assistant starter Monte Slender, who died last Wednesday. He was 47.

Slender, the son of California steward George Slender and first cousin of Santa Anita starter Jay Slender, was an assistant starter for 20 years in both Southern and Northern California.

In addition to his parents, including mother Verna, he is survived by his wife Cathleen, son Caleb, and two brothers, Stephen and George.

New video boards at Santa Anita

New state-of-the-art video boards will be installed in the infield and paddock at Santa Anita in time for the opening of the winter meeting on Dec. 26. An official announcement was scheduled for Wednesday.

The new infield board, while having a better picture quality, also will not be as tall as the previous board, which blocked the pan-camera shot when horses went down the backstretch.