05/25/2011 1:07PM

Hollywood Park: Warren's Blossom tries turf in return


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Warren’s Blossom makes her turf debut and first start in nearly four months, in a six-furlong allowance race at Hollywood Park on Friday evening. For trainer Jorge Gutierrez, the race is long overdue.

Last fall and winter, when Warren’s Blossom was in the midst of a three-race winning streak on Hollywood Park’s synthetic track and Santa Anita’s dirt main track, Gutierrez considered turf races but did not want to switch surfaces.

“She was doing so good the other way, I didn’t want to change,” he said.

Warren’s Blossom finished sixth in the Sunshine Millions Distaff over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita in late January, emerging from the race with a stress fracture in a shoulder, Gutierrez said.

“She just needed time,” he said.

Owned by breeder Ben Warren, Warren’s Blossom, 4, has won 4 of 6 starts and $102,850, with all the victories in sprints. Gutierrez is optimistic that Warren’s Blossom can handle a new surface Friday.

“I think the way she travels that she will like it,” he said. “If she can get a hold of it, she’ll be awful tough.”

A victory Friday could lead to a start in a race such as the $100,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap for statebred fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 24.

“I want to give her a try on the turf because there would be more options,” Gutierrez said. “I’d like to stretch her out again. If she likes the turf, we could run at Del Mar.”

Friday’s race drew six, and Warren’s Blossom starts from the outside post. Martin Pedroza, who has been aboard Warren’s Blossom for all four of her wins, retains the mount. Warren’s Blossom has enough speed to stay close to Princelada, who is likely to set the pace but is winless in five starts on turf.

“I think she’s quick enough,” Gutierrez said. “I’m a little concerned being on the outside. I think she’ll like it.”

Downhill Diva is a threat from off the pace. Trained by Patricia Harrington, Downhill Diva, 4, has not started since December but has worked well in recent weeks, once on turf.

Excellent News, trained by Bob Baffert, starts from the rail and will show speed. She was fourth in the B. Thoughtful Stakes here last month after racing near the front for the first half-mile.