06/08/2013 12:26PM

Hollywood Park notes: More Chocolate targets rebound in Vanity Handicap

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Shigeki Kikkawa
More Chocolate won her first stakes in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Maybe a trip to Kentucky with the 4-year-old filly More Chocolate for the La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs last month was not the best idea.

That is the post-race assessment from trainer John Sadler, who is preparing More Chocolate for Saturday’s $250,000 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park.

More Chocolate finished fifth in the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes in her first career start outside of Southern California.

“I probably should have stayed home to begin with,” Sadler said.

Despite the loss, Sadler is optimistic about More Chocolate’s chances in the Vanity, her second start in a Grade 1 stakes. In March, More Chocolate was second to Joyful Victory in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita. In January, More Chocolate won her first stakes in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles.

Sadler entered More Chocolate in the Grade 2 Marjorie Everett Handicap here May 18, but passed the race.

“It was two weeks after the trip to Kentucky,” Sadler said. “I didn’t want to fly and run her back in two weeks.”

Owned by Michael Talla, More Chocolate has won 3 of 10 starts and $252,642. The Vanity will be her first start on a synthetic track. By Malibu Moon, More Chocolate made the first seven starts of her career on turf. She trains regularly on Hollywood Park’s synthetic track.

“She’s training well on this track,” Sadler said. “She’s never run on synthetic. She trained beautifully on synthetic before she went to Kentucky.”

The Vanity field will include Open Water, winner of the Marjorie Everett; and two fillies trained by Jerry Hollendorfer – Esentepe, winner of an optional claimer here May 9, and Lady of Fifty, who was second to Open Water in the Everett.

Unusual Heatwave works for return

Unusual Heatwave, a two-time stakes winner against California-breds last year, has resumed training with Alexis Barba.

A 4-year-old colt, Unusual Heatwave worked three furlongs in 36.60 seconds last Tuesday, the second workout of his comeback. Barba envisions starting Unusual Heatwave this summer at Del Mar.

Owned by Ellen and Peter Johnson and Teresa McWilliams, Unusual Heatwave won the Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park and the Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar last year. He was third in the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar last August in his most recent start.

Jimmy Creed eyeing Triple Bend

Jimmy Creed, winner of two sprint stakes at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting in December and April, is scheduled to start in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap over seven furlongs June 29, according to trainer Richard Mandella.

Jimmy Creed was considered for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap over a mile at Belmont Park on May 27, but was held out of that race after Mandella said he was unsatisfied with how the 4-year-old colt worked in advance.

Last Tuesday, Jimmy Creed worked five furlongs in 59 seconds, which Mandella said restored his confidence.

Owned by B. Wayne Hughes, Jimmy Creed has won 4 of 8 starts and $403,000. He won the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December and the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes in April at Santa Anita.