06/22/2013 1:13PM

Hollywood Park notes: Pender readies Jeranimo for Shoemaker repeat


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Mike Pender celebrated the 100th Thoroughbred win of his career on Friday when Boat Trip won an exciting allowance race over five furlongs on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The win left Pender thinking Boat Trip will be a factor in restricted turf stakes at Del Mar this summer. Before then, Pender, 47, would like to collect a more prestigious prize, and add to his total of 12 career stakes wins.

Next Saturday, Pender starts the six-time stakes winner Jeranimo in the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile on turf. Jeranimo won the 2012 Shoemaker Mile, and was later sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last November.

This year, Jeranimo won the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita in January, but was last of seven on a yielding turf course in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 4.

Getting back to the BC Mile at Santa Anita in November is a goal for Pender and owners B.J. Wright and Robert LaPenta. The Shoemaker Mile will be a stout test. The field is led by the front-runner Obviously, who was third in the 2012 BC Mile and won the Grade 2 American Handicap here last month.

“We’re hoping that someone goes with him early,” Pender said about Obviously. “If they don’t, we’re all running for second.”

Pender was encouraged by Boat Trip’s performance on Friday, the 4-year-old’s second start of 2012.

Boat Trip rallied on the inside to win by a neck over Kinsale King, the 8-year-old gelding who was making his first start since September 2011. Kinsale King is best known for winning the $2 million Golden Shaheen for sprinters in Dubai in 2010.

Boat Trip won the minor Tsunami Slew Stakes over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park in June 2012. Owned by Wright, Boat Trip’s next start could be the $90,000 Wickerr Stakes over a mile on turf at Del Mar on July 24.

Gomez returning on Thursday

Garrett Gomez will return to riding on Thursday after a two-week break, his agent, Tony Matos, said on Friday afternoon.

Gomez took off his mounts on June 13, citing personal issues. Last Thursday, on his Twitter feed, Gomez said he was “working on his marriage.”

Matos said that Gomez is anxious to return to riding.

“He’s been exercising and keeping fit,” Matos said. “He told me, ‘Tony, I’m fit as a fiddle.’ ”

Gomez has a strong set of stakes mounts next weekend, including Jimmy Creed in the Triple Bend and Za Approval in the Shoemaker. On July 4, Gomez is booked to Chief Havoc in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds. On July 6, he rides Clubhouse Ride in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.

Gomez rode Clubhouse Ride to a victory in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on June 1.

Bella Viaggia may go long

Bella Viaggia won her fourth consecutive race, and first start of 2013, in an optional claimer over six furlongs on turf on Friday.

The win has trainer Mike Puype contemplating a first-ever start around two turns at Del Mar for the 4-year-old California-bred filly.

Owned by SLO Racing, Bella Viaggia could start in the $150,000 Solana Beach Handicap for California-breds over a mile on turf at Del Mar on Aug. 18.

Last fall, Bella Viaggia won a division of the California Cup Distaff on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita. Friday, Bella Viaggia closed from fourth under jockey Joe Talamo to win by a length as the 4-5 favorite.

“I don’t think he had to ask her for any more than she needed,” Puype said.