06/23/2004 11:00PM

Hollywood Story tries turf


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Her lack of turf racing aside, Hollywood Story showed trainer John Shirreffs in a turf workout on Thursday that she deserves a shot on that surface in the $750,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 3.

There is little to lose in trying Hollywood Story on a new surface.

Already a Grade 1 stakes winner - she won the Hollywood Starlet Stakes last December - Hollywood Story will be an outsider in the Grade 1 Oaks, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies.

On Thursday, Hollywood Story worked five furlongs on turf in 1:02.20. After running the first furlong with her head in the air and appearing to look around, Hollywood Story finished well, particularly through the stretch.

Shirreffs was guarded about Hollywood Story's participation in the Oaks before the workout, but said he was happy with the way she handled the surface.

"She went well. Right now, it looks pretty good for us," Shirreffs said.

Owned by George Krikorian, Hollywood Story has won only once in nine starts. She is winless in four starts this year, all in major stakes. She was second in the Las Virgenes Stakes, fourth in the Santa Anita Oaks, fifth in the Kentucky Oaks, and third in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks on June 12.

In the Hollywood Oaks, Hollywood Story finished third, six lengths behind House of Fortune, who led throughout.

"House of Fortune got the ideal track," Shirreffs said. "It wasn't a track that played for horses that came from off the pace."

The American Oaks will have a large field, perhaps as many as 14, and Shirreffs does not want Hollywood Story to have to weave through traffic.

"We want to be close. If you have to make up a lot of ground, it's not ideal," he said. "She needs to finish better, but with better position she can do that. It's really whether she can find another gear in the stretch."

The change in surface puts Hollywood Story at a disadvantage. She is the lone probable that has not started on the grass.

House of Fortune, who also has yet to race on turf, has been invited to the American Oaks, but trainer Ron McAnally said on Thursday that it is "doubtful" she will start.

The other probable starters have won or placed in stakes on turf. They come from such diverse locales as New Zealand (Boulevardofdreams, Eternal Melody), Japan (Dance in the Mood), and Europe (Kalatuna, Misty Heights, and Steel Princess).

The top American candidates include Lovely Rafaela, who won the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap here on June 5, and Mambo Slew, who won the Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park on June 13.

Shirreffs set for a slump-breaker day

Shirreffs is mired in a meeting-long slump that could end on Saturday when he starts Moonstone Bay in a maiden race on turf and Delizia in a maiden race over six furlongs.

Through Wednesday, Shirreffs was winless with 37 starters, with three seconds and six third-place finishes.

"I went into the meeting thinking I would have a good meet," he said. "Dumb luck says you would win at least one from 37 starts."

Shirreffs is optimistic that one of his runners on Saturday can win.

Moonstone Bay drew the rail in the first race, which has nine runners. Moonstone Bay finished fourth in two maiden races at this meeting, on May 1 and May 29.

"She should improve off her last race," Shirreffs said.

Delizia is part of an entry with Copa de Oro in the sixth race, which is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss. Richard Mandella trains Copa de Oro.

Delizia finished third in a six-furlong maiden race on May 16. She broke slowly and rallied to finish third.

"If she gets out, she should be good," Shirreffs said. "We've always liked her in the morning. She's got everything going for her. She just needs to perform."

Pincay Award makes debut

Hollywood Park will inaugurate an award in honor of retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., that will be presented on Hollywood Gold Cup Day, July 10.

According to a statement released by the track, the award will be presented to a person who has served the sport with integrity, dedication, determination, and distinction.

Pincay, 57, retired last year with a record 9,530 career wins. His retirement ceremony was held at Hollywood Park in June 2003, three months after he suffered a neck injury in a spill at Santa Anita.

During his career, Pincay won the Hollywood Gold Cup nine times, including his final mount in the race aboard Sky Jack in 2002. Pincay won his first Gold Cup aboard Pleasure Seeker in 1970.

Black Bart's next: American Handicap

Black Bart, who has already won two stakes at this meeting, is likely to try for a hat trick in the $150,000 American Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf on July 4, trainer Troy Bainum said.

Claimed last December for $16,000 by Thomas Metzger Sr., Black Bart has won two turf stakes for state-breds at this meeting - the Khaled Stakes on April 24 and the Quicken Tree Stakes on June 13. Between those starts, Black Bart finished third in the Ack Ack Handicap on May 31 on the main track.

Following the Quicken Tree Stakes, Bainum said that Black Bart would be pointed for the $125,000 Claiming Crown Jewel on dirt at Canterbury Park on July 17. Despite the quick turnaround from the American, that race remains on Black Bart's schedule, Bainum said.

"He's already proven he can run on two weeks rest," Bainum said. "He just wants to train and run."

Pick six returns $105,399.80

Wednesday's pick six returned $105,399.80 to eight ticket-holders on a day when the total pool reached $1,375,666. The pool included a $178,464 carryover from Sunday and another $1,197,202 added by bettors without hitting it on Wednesday.

Two of the six winners were favored - Damar Wayne ($3.60) in the fourth race, and Loren V. ($4.80) in the eighth. The other winners: O Nectar ($20) in the third, Montana Deputy ($12.60), My Poker Player ($12.20), and Reel 'Em In ($9) in the fifth through seventh races.