06/16/2011 3:07PM

Hollywood Park: Pedaltothemedal back on turf for Manhattan Beach Stakes


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Pedaltothemedal makes her turf stakes debut in Saturday’s $70,000 Manhattan Beach Stakes at Hollywood Park, after two starts earlier at this meeting that have left trainer Art Sherman perplexed.

Pedaltothemedal won her 3-year-old debut in brilliant fashion in an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs April 24, but was only third, beaten 5 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes as the 11-10 favorite over seven furlongs May 21.

“I don’t think that was her race,” Sherman said of the Railbird. “I thought that maybe she might have bounced off the big race that she did run. She didn’t have that closing power like she did when she came off the layoff. I really think she’s a nice filly. It might have been a little farther than she wants to run.

“I’m hoping that this race has a different scenario.”

Pedaltothemedal, who will be ridden by Joe Talamo, has drawn the outside in a field of seven. There is ample speed to the inside, notably the unbeaten Mildly Offensive, unraced since a win in the Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita on March 20, and Mizdirection, who won a six-furlong maiden race on turf by 11 lengths May 8. Both of those fillies can led or stalk the pace.

“I thought she drew okay,” Sherman said of Pedaltothemedal. “There is quite a bit of speed to the inside, and if they come back she should be in contention.”

Pedaltothemedal was second by a nose in a maiden race over five furlongs on turf here last July in her career debut.

The Manhattan Beach Stakes will be Mildly Offensive’s first start on turf. Trained by Carla Gaines, she was considered for a stakes at Churchill Downs in early May until she was sidelined by an illness in April.

Trainer Jim Cassidy has three runners – Fifth Ave, Fifth Commandment, and Wave of Applause, all of whom began their careers in Europe. Wave of Applause and Fifth Ave were fourth and seventh in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes on May 7. Wave of Applause returned to finish fourth in an allowance race on June 2.

Fifth Commandment has not started since November. She won 4 of 11 starts in England last year, with all starts in minor races.

Switch T-shirt giveaway

Hollywood Park’s grandstand could be a sea of purple and gold Saturday.

Owners Lee and Susan Searing, who will start Switch in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap, have put together a unique promotion with Hollywood Park. The Searings have bought 4,000 purple and gold T-shirts that say “Go Switch.” The shirts will be distributed free to fans, while supplies last.

The idea came up through conversation with family, Lee Searing said, and was quickly embraced by track officials.

“I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a lot of purple and gold?’ ” Searing said Thursday. “We talked it out.

“All we want to do is give them away. We want people to go enjoy Hollywood Park, enjoy the race, and root for Switch. It will be extra fun if Switch wins.”

Trained by John Sadler, Switch won two Grade 1 races over seven furlongs at Santa Anita in December and January and is seeking her first Grade 1 win over 1 1/8 miles in the Vanity. The race drew a tough field, including Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010.

“I think the filly division is as good as any division,” Searing said. “We’re running against some good horses. I know she’ll run a big race.”

O’Neill fined for etodolac positive

Trainer Doug O’Neill has been fined $1,000 by Hollywood Park stewards after one of his runners at Santa Anita in February tested positive for etodolac, an anti-inflammatory medication not permitted for use in racehorses.

The positive test was taken from a post-race urine sample of Separate Forest, winner of the fifth race at Santa Anita on Feb. 5. Separate Forest earned $22,800 of a $40,400 purse in winning a $40,000 claimer on the hillside turf course as the 8-5 favorite. The purse was later redistributed to the second- through sixth-place finishers.

Separate Forest later won the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in April.

◗ Jockey Joel Rosario missed a chance to ride at Royal Ascot in England this week because of visa complications, according to his agent, Ron Ebanks. A native of the Dominican Republic, Rosario did not ride at Hollywood Park on Thursday, was booked to ride Friday evening, and has six mounts on Saturday’s nine-race program, including Switch in the Vanity.

◗ Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will appear on the Inside Scoop talk show with Kurt Hoover in the Hollywood Park paddock at noon Saturday. Valenzuela, 48, ranked eighth in the jockey standings through Sunday, with 14 wins at the meeting.