07/02/2013 1:58PM

Hollywood Park notes: Et Tu Walker goes for 4th straight


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - At the start of the Hollywood Park meet, Et Tu Walker had won twice in 12 starts and had run for a $16,000 claiming tag in his final start at Santa Anita. But he has awakened this summer, winning three straight, all in turf sprints, and he will try to become the first four-time winner of the current meeting when he runs in Thursday’s eighth race, an optional claimer going six furlongs on turf. Et Tu Walker is entered for a second-level allowance condition.

Doug O’Neill, who trains Et Tu Walker, said there have been two reasons for the sudden improvement for Et Tu Walker – a return to turf, and a tie-back operation that improved Et Tu Walker’s breathing.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Dr. Ryan Carpenter, who did the tie-back on him,” O’Neill said. “He had trouble with his air. The tie-back and grass have made him a different horse.”

O’Neill also entered Tones in the same race. He has not been out since September.

“He didn’t have anything significantly wrong with him, just general body soreness,” O’Neill said. “The distance Thursday is not ideal for him, but hopefully we can get a race into him and have a big summer.”

Tones was second in a division of the Oceanside Stakes last summer at Del Mar.

Sweet Lulu has look of a good one

It will be either an allowance race at Del Mar or perhaps a stakes race back East next for Sweet Lulu, who ran her record to 2 for 2 with an easy allowance win on Saturday going 6 1/2 furlongs under Rafael Bejarano.

“I’ll probably look for a second-condition allowance at Del Mar,” said Hollendorfer, who trains Sweet Lulu, “or I might look at the Prioress, though I’m not sure I want to put her on the road right now.”

Just the fact Hollendorfer is pondering the Prioress, a Grade 1 at Saratoga on July 27, shows the high regard he has for Sweet Lulu, a daughter of Mr. Greeley. On Saturday, she broke from the rail and had to rally for the win.

“I hate running out of the 1 hole,” Hollendorfer said. “She got behind horses, but she learned a lot. She’d wait, move when there was room, wait again, then went through when Rafael asked her to go. It was a good learning experience for her, and we learned a lot about her, too.”

◗ Garrett Gomez said on Twitter on Monday night that he planned to return for the final week of Hollywood Park to be ready for Del Mar’s opener on July 17. Gomez has taken the past few weeks off to deal with what he said were personal matters related to his marriage.

◗ Wayne Seidel, a longtime racetracker who has worked for trainers including Barry Abrams, John Gosden, Gary Jones, and D. Wayne Lukas, is collecting vet wrap in the Hollywood Park stable area to donate to the horses injured in the recent Oklahoma tornados. The project is being coordinated by the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program in Oklahoma City. Seidel will be collecting through Friday.