07/04/2012 4:44PM

Hollywood Park: Mr. Ornery out for follow-up


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Mr. Ornery produced one of the surprise wins of the spring-summer meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park when he won his debut in a six-furlong turf race at 40-1 on June 9.

The victory left trainer Marty Jones slightly stunned, and optimistic that the 3-year-old gelding can continue the success in an optional claimer over six furlongs on turf on Friday night.

“We thought he might need a race to get it figured out,” Jones said. “I think the grass helped him. He was pretty impressive the first time out.”

Owned by breeders Don and Sally Valpredo, Mr. Ornery closed from fourth in a field of 12 to beat maidens by a half-length. The third-place finisher in that field, D J Dave, returned to win last Sunday.

Jones said that Mr. Ornery has trained well in the weeks since his win, but has a slight concern about racing on a Friday evening. Post time for Mr. Ornery’s race will be approximately 9 p.m.

“It’s always interesting to run at night,” Jones said. “He doesn’t have much seasoning. I’m not making any excuses going in there. He gives up a lot of experience to those horses.”

Mr. Ornery is part of a field of six. The other runners have made between five and 46 starts in their career. The veteran is Dance with Gable, an 8-year-old former stakes winner who is entered for a $25,000 claiming price. Dance with Gable is winless in his last nine starts, since an optional $40,000 claimer at Fairplex Park last September.

Trained by Eddie Truman for Howard and Janet Siegel, Dance With Gable won three stakes in 2009 and 2010, including the Wild Harmony Stakes over six furlongs on turf here.

Nofty is winless in five starts, since a maiden race over six furlongs on turf here last July, but was a game second in races at this level on May 13 and June 7. On May 13, he was beaten a neck by La Mano Nera. On June 7, he lost by 1 1/2 lengths to Red Defense, who returned to win a $32,000 claimer on June 23.

Nofty will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.

“I think he’s comfortable at Hollywood Park over six furlongs,”

Trainer Gary Mandella said of Nofty. “As long as he handles the Friday night situation, he should run big. I’m confident his last race was good.”