06/27/2012 4:13PM

Hollywood Park: Triple Bend distance should be ideal for Centralinteligence

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The second stakes appearance for the 4-year-old gelding Centralinteligence went much better than the first.

On May 28, Centralinteligence, trained by Ron Ellis, finished a game second to Roman Threat in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap over six furlongs. Back in December, in his stakes debut, Centralinteligence finished last of 10 in a trouble-marred start in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

Centralinteligence is back at the Grade 1 level for Saturday’s $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap, a race where Ellis expects him to play a leading role. Owned by John and Jerry Amerman and Bongo Racing Stable, Centralinteligence will be ridden for the first time by Jose Valdivia Jr.

“I like him at seven-eighths,” Ellis said of Centralinteligence. “It could be his best distance.”

Ellis is also pleased that Roman Threat is not in the field. Trainer Bob Baffert has Roman Threat scheduled to start in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 29.

Ellis cannot get away from Baffert, though. The Hall of Fame trainer will start expected favorite The Factor in the Triple Bend. The Factor won the Malibu, a race that essentially ended for Centralinteligence on the turn when he raced on the inside of a line of three horses and had traffic problems.

“He’d never been in that situation,” Ellis said. “The two horses tightened him up a bit and he checked. It was a throw-out.

“He’s a more seasoned horse now.”

Mama Kimbo points to Prioress

Mamma Kimbo, beaten for the first time when fourth in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 18, worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds at Santa Anita on Wednesday.

Baffert said that Mamma Kimbo is being pointed for the $300,000 Prioress Stakes over six furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 4. A winner of 2 of 3 starts, Mamma Kimbo won the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes in her stakes debut at Oaklawn Park in April.

Bodemeister, second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has resumed working in preparation for an expected start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 29.

Last Sunday, Bodemeister worked a half-mile 50.60 seconds, a slow time for a Baffert-trained runner.

“I was trying to slow him down,” Baffert said. “He worked behind a horse. He was getting too keen.”

Bodemeister won the Arkansas Derby in April and led in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before being caught late in both races by I’ll Have Another.

Back to Cal-breds for Willa B Awesome

Willa B Awesome, the winner of three stakes this year, but only sixth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks last Saturday, will revert to California-bred stakes for her next start.

Trainer Walther Solis said Willa B Awesome will start in the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for 3-year-old statebred fillies over seven furlongs at Del Mar on July 28.

Solis dismissed the loss in the Hollywood Oaks, which was preceded by wins in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and Melair Stakes for California-breds.

“She was bucking and kicking the next morning,” he said. “She didn’t get to run. I have to throw that race. She’s already back on the track.”