07/06/2012 4:51PM

Hollywood Park Notes: Injury clouds Belle Royale's future


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Belle Royale, who has emerged as the leading turf female in California in recent months, faces an uncertain future after being diagnosed with a tendon injury earlier this week.

Trainer Simon Callaghan said a decision on whether the 4-year-old Belle Royale stays in training or is retired and bred in 2013 will be made later this year, after the injury is reassessed.

Owned by Michael Tabor, Belle Royale is unbeaten in two starts in the United States – the minor American Beauty Stakes at Santa Anita in April and the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 28. She was being prepared for the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August when the injury was detected.

“She’s had a setback,” Callaghan said. “She suffered a tendon injury. It’s a lesion on her tendon. We had some heat and thickening and we scanned it right away.

“It’s definitely something we need to give her some time off for. We’ll evaluate whether to retire her. She’ll probably need three months out.”

The timing of the injury will prevent Belle Royale from starting in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, a goal for Tabor and Callaghan.

A winner of 10 of 26 starts and $358,231, Belle Royale has won her last five starts, a streak that began in England last summer. If Belle Royale does not race again, her final start in the Gamely was her greatest achievement.

“In three months, we can rescan it,” Callaghan said. “We don’t need to rush a decision. It’s disappointing. ”

Field coming together for American Oaks

The $400,000 American Oaks on July 14 is the final Grade 1 of the spring-summer meeting, and is expected to draw a full field of 3-year-old fillies in the race over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

The local hopefuls are led by Lady of Shamrock, a winner of three stakes at the Santa Anita during the winter-spring meeting, but an unlucky second when racing in traffic in the stretch of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap on June 9. My Gi Gi, the winner of the Honeymoon, is another candidate.

The race will have as many as three shippers from Europe – Angegreen, second in the Italian Oaks in May; and Miss Cato and Nayarra, stakes-placed in England this year.

Other candidates are Best Present Ever, who won the Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last month; Colonial Flag, Treasured Up, and Left a Message, who were second through fourth in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 16; and Regalo Mia, second in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park on May 28.

Turf milers may meet again at Del Mar

Jeranimo and Suggestive Boy, the first two finishers of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mike on June 30, are bound for stakes at Del Mar, and may meet again.

Jeranimo earned an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3 with his victory in the Shoemaker Mile. Trainer Mike Pender said on Friday that Jeranimo will be lightly raced in California leading to that race, with his next objective the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf on Aug. 26.

“The goal has to be November and the Breeders’ Cup,” he said. “I think shipping around is a mistake.”

Suggestive Boy, the winner of four Group 1 races in Argentina last year, made his U.S. debut in the Shoemaker, leading in the stretch.

Trainer Ron McAnally was non-specific about Del Mar plans for Suggestive Boy, but initial options include the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf on July 21 or the restricted $85,000 Wickerr Handicap over a mile on turf on July 25. Those races could serve as a prep to the Del Mar Mile.

Maldonado gaining in stature

Jockey Edwin Maldonado won three races on a day for the first time in three years on Thursday, a milestone that could be part of a successful conclusion to the spring-summer meeting for the 29-year-old rider.

Maldonado is the regular rider of Amarish, the highly promising 2-year-old who makes his graded stakes debut in the $200,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 14. The spring-summer meeting ends on July 15.

Maldonado rode the unbeaten Amarish to wins in a maiden race on May 26 and the Willard Proctor Stakes on June 16.

“He’s tall and he’s quick,” he said. “Not many big horses have that speed out of the gate. I’m looking forward to the race.”

A native of Puerto Rico, Maldonado rode in Louisiana before moving to California in the fall of 2010. Prior to Thursday, Maldonado last won three races on a day at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana in June 2009.

Thursday Maldonado swept the early double with Attack the Jack ($2.60) and Balentina ($5) and won the fourth on Warren’s Kong ($6.60). His hopes for a perfect day with four mounts ended with a second on Belle Gallantey in the seventh. She was caught late by favored Lily’s Perfect ($5.20).

JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
I saw Belle Royale run in the Gamely Stakes, and she scored a very nice, impressive victory there. She had a very nice win streak of five races going for her before this injury occurred to her. Another tendon injury threatens the retirement of another talented horse. I hope she is able to recover from this injury, that this is just, indeed, a setback for BR. However, if somehow that does not happen, I wish for BR a retirement where she greatly enjoys herself, is well-provided for, and has strong, beautiful foals. Belle Royale's last race was a triumph for her, and if she has to retire, she retires having triumph winning her best-run race. Good luck, Belle Royale!