05/04/2012 4:14PM

Hollywood Park: Win in Time To Leave not top priority for Teddy's Promise

Benoit & Associates
Trainer Ron Ellis says is more concerned with getting Teddy's Promise ready for the Desert Stormer and A Gleam handicaps later this summer than having her fully cranked for Sunday's Time To Leave.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Teddy’s Promise is not ideally suited to the conditions of Sunday’s $70,000 Time To Leave Stakes at Hollywood Park.

That’s the perspective of trainer Ron Ellis, who plans to use the five-furlong race as a prep for stakes in June and July for Teddy’s Promise, the winner of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita last December.

“It’s not a real important race for us,” Ellis said. “We’ve got some work to do to get her to relax and rate.”

Teddy’s Promise, owned by breeder Ted and Judy Nichols, has not started since a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 28. She was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Home Sweet Aspen after encountering trouble in early stretch.

“She drew the inside and got behind horses,” Ellis said. “It was kind of a disaster.”

In the Time To Leave Stakes, Teddy’s Promise has drawn the rail in a field of seven fillies and mares. The post position was not one that Ellis hoped to draw.

“We’ll probably be sitting behind,” Ellis said. “It’s not a good spot for her, but maybe she’ll learn something.”

Teddy’s Promise is a part of a solid field, and one that should feature ample pace.

Izzy Rules, who was fifth as the 4-5 favorite against males in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 14, is expected to lead.

Trained by Jeff Bonde for George and Mary Clare Schmitt, Izzy Rules won the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on March 11, the last of four consecutive wins. The streak started in a $20,000 claimer here in December and included two optional claimers at Santa Anita in January and February.

Rumor, who won the Kalookan Queen Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 1, has shown speed in the past. She was sixth as the 2-1 favorite in the Santa Monica, leading for the first half-mile before fading.

Dawnie Macho, the winner of the 2010 Landaluce Stakes, and Pink Lollipops, a recent allowance race winner trained by Bob Baffert, are also part of the field.

Those fillies may meet again in $70,000 Desert Stormer Handicap over six furlongs on June 17 and the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap over seven furlongs on July 14, the expected next two starts for Teddy’s Promise.

“It’s our plan to run her in the three races,” Ellis said.

The Time To Leave Stakes will be Teddy’s Promise’s first start over five furlongs since a second, by a nose, in an optional claimer on turf at Del Mar last August. Sunday’s race is over the synthetic main track.

A winner of 5 of 14 starts and $356,808, Teddy’s Promise won the La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over seven furlongs by 2 1/4 lengths, closing from fifth in a field of nine. The La Brea was Teddy’s Promise’s first stakes win and third consecutive victory.