06/09/2011 4:21PM

Hollywood Park: Supreme Summit prepping

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A streak of four consecutive appearances in graded stakes will end when Supreme Summit starts in a $60,000 allowance race at Hollywood Park on Friday evening.

The seven-furlong race is designed as only a temporary interruption to running in top-class races. Owner Joe Lacombe and trainer Mike Puype consider the allowance to be a prep race for the more lucrative $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap on July 2.

"I've got 22 days," Puype said. "He's a strong horse. I don't think it will bother us."
Supreme Summit was entered in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap on May 30, but was unable to start because of illness. "He had some mucus on the day of the Los Angeles," Puype said.

Friday's race, the sixth on an eight-race program that begins at 7:05 p.m., will be Supreme Summit's fifth start over seven furlongs. He has been stakes-placed twice over the distance, a second in the 2009 Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita and a third in the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap in 2010.

In his most recent start over seven furlongs, Supreme Summit was sixth in the San Carlos at Santa Anita in February on a wet-fast track, but rebounded to finish third behind top turf sprinter Regally Ready in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita on April 16, the 5-year-old's most recent start.

Supreme Summit is a closer, and is a part of a strong field that includes the graded stakes winners Coffee Boy, Golden Itiz, Matto Mondo, and Tres Borrachos. Coffee Boy, the winner of the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes at Calder last summer, may set the pace.
Golden Itiz, the winner of the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap last summer, returns after a layoff of nearly 10 months caused by illness. Trainer Ron Ellis has route races as a long-term goal for Golden Itiz.

"I'm anxious to see how good he can get," Ellis said. "Seven-eighths is not his distance. He wants go longer for his best."

Golden Itiz was sidelined by ulcers last summer and had a difficult final month to that campaign, ending with a seventh in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar last August.

"He wasn't quite right when I ran him at Del Mar," Ellis said. "After that, he started losing weight. He looks good now. We'll see how he matures from 3 to 4."