05/29/2013 4:17PM

Hollywood Park: Oilisblackgold using Californian as Gold Cup springboard

Shigeki Kikkawa
Oilisblackgold, winning a Santa Anita optional claimer in February, runs Saturday in the Grade 2 Californian, then perhaps in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Craig Dollase has a reminder every day of his victory in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup. Awesome Gem, who won the race as a 7-year-old, is a pony at Dollase’s barn at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The $500,000 Gold Cup is July 6 and is the richest race of the spring-summer meeting. Dollase hopes to have another veteran in the race – the 6-year-old gelding Oilisblackgold.

A winner of 3 of 25 starts and $238,240, Oilisblackgold has yet to win a stakes, an omission that Dollase hopes to correct in Saturday’s $150,000 Californian Stakes over 1 1/8 miles. The Grade 2 Californian will be Oilisblackgold’s first start since a second in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup over 1 1/2 miles at Santa Anita on March 23.

“We’re sitting on go,” Dollase said Wednesday morning. “Hopefully, we can get to the Gold Cup.”

Oilisblackgold beat maidens as a 3-year-old in his second start way back in 2010 at Fairplex Park, but did not win again until last September in an optional claimer at Fairplex Park, his 22nd start. That race was the first of four starts that included two wins, including an optional claimer at Santa Anita in February and the first stakes placing for Oilisblackgold in the Tokyo City.

[CALIFORNIAN STAKES: Get PPs, watch Saturday's full card live]

Those races were on dirt tracks, a slight concern for Dollase in advance of Saturday’s synthetic-track race.

“He has excellent dirt form,” Dollase said. “He won a race at Pomona, won at Santa Anita, and was second in the Tokyo City. I hope that continues.”

Oilisblackgold, who races for Class Racing Stable, has never run in a stakes at Hollywood Park. In five starts on the main track here, he has three seconds and a third.

Edwin Maldonado, who was aboard for the Tokyo City Cup and the February win, has the mount Saturday.

The Californian has a projected field of seven. The race is expected to be led by Liaison, who won the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap here over 1 1/16 miles on May 4 for his fourth stakes win, and Clubhouse Ride, who was second to Game On Dude in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2 and the Charles Town Classic in West Virginia on April 20.

Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Since this horse likes 1 1/2 miles, maybe they should keep chasing the few 1 1/2 miles races out there. He might actually have a better chance of hitting the money spots in the 1 1/4 mile H. Gold Cup than in this race, which might be short for him. On the other hand, Liaison might be a mile-1/16 mile type. Maybe they should point for races at that trip. Even if he wins at the 1 1/8 trip of the Californian, I wouldn't back him in the Gold Cup.
Rick Lamond More than 1 year ago
Since Game on Dude has beaten Clubhouse Ride twice recently (while racing under a hand ride in the stretch), Baffert knows that Liaison can beat him. Oilisblackgold will just be a speed bump in the Gold Cup.
John More than 1 year ago
This is one of these horses we all have on our slate, you bet him, over and over as he seems to be catching "the right spot, finally " yet he fails to get it done . Ive probably bet him 10 times over the past year and 1/2, and its to the point, Im not going to let him beat me when I get off him, Ill just toss him onto my tickets, IN CASE ! Isnt this a fun game ?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Oil is in the best form of his career, he has always been a hard trying horse, and unlike last year Game on Dude is not running in this race. So, Oil has a shot to win. But it is a longish shot. If Clubhouse or Liaison run their race, they are simply faster than Oil.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Sometimes horses take a long time to wake up and when they do they can be competitive - not to say he will ever be a win machine. Clubhouse Ride should be very happy not to see the Dude. At 7-2 or better I feel he offers value in this field.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glad to see him run in the Californian on Sat. So Cal has trouble filling races, so having 7 in this one should be seen as a success.
Bill N Oregon More than 1 year ago
What a monster! Took him like 20 shots to get by his 2nd condition. Arcangues had no American form - Oilisblackgold has plenty of it - all mediocre.
aaronrayk More than 1 year ago
petem More than 1 year ago
This horse has zero shot.
John Smith More than 1 year ago
Thats what they said about Arcangues in the 93 breeders cup classic.
petem More than 1 year ago
Maybe, at least no one heard of him and he had not run in the US. This horse has run here plenty. 2 months ago he ran DFL last in a 1st condition allowance at Golden Gate. Give me a break, this horse does not deserve an article headline.