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Injured Valdivia out till Del Mar
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., who suffered a broken collarbone in a spill in Sunday's Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park, is likely to be out until the start of the Del Mar meeting on July 18, according to his agent, Michelle Barsotti.
Valdivia is scheduled to receive a further prognosis on Friday from Dr. James Tibone, who works closely with injured Southern California jockeys. Barsotti said Valdivia could return in time to work horses in the days before Del Mar opens.
"It was a clean break," Barsotti said. "It's the best news in a bad situation."
Valdivia was injured when he fell from New Joysey Jeff in the stretch of the turf stakes. New Joysey Jeff was moving into contention near the eighth pole when he ducked out and unseated Valdivia, who fell clear of the trailing runners.
Through Sunday, Valdivia was 14th in the jockey standings with 13 wins from 111 mounts.
Jockeys David Flores and Corey Nakatani are recovering from recent spills, but will ride this week, their agents said.
Flores was hospitalized briefly on Sunday after being unseated from Bruisen Susan in the fifth race. Bruisen Susan clipped heels with a rival, causing Flores to come off.
Flores was "a little body sore" earlier this week, according to his agent, Brad Pegram. Flores is booked to ride at Hollywood Park on Thursday.
Nakatani is expected back by Friday, after suffering back spasms that kept him from riding on Saturday and Sunday, according to his agent, Bob Meldahl. Nakatani was involved in a spill on June 16.
Meldahl said that Nakatani's condition had improved on Monday. Nakatani is not booked to ride on Thursday, and will have limited mounts on Friday, Meldahl said.
"We'll probably ride a couple on Friday to let people know we're back on," he said.
American Oaks field taking shape
Trainer Julio Canani remained uncommitted on Tuesday regarding plans for Attima, his top 3-year-old filly. Canani said a decision on whether she starts in Sunday's $750,000 American Oaks or waits for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar on July 29 will be made after Attima breezes on Wednesday.
Canani will have to make a decision by Thursday, the day that entries are taken.
Owned by Joseph Scardino and Anthony Fanticola, Attima is unbeaten in two starts in this country, including an impressive front-running win in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf here on June 4. The American Oaks is run at 1 1/4 miles on turf, a distance that Canani thinks might be too far for Attima. He thinks Attima could be a miler, like her sire, Zafonic.
The presence of Attima would add depth to the Grade 1 American Oaks, which will have the shortest field on Sunday in its brief history. Last year's field had 12 starters; the first three runnings had 13 or 14 starters.
The probable starters for the American Oaks are Arravale, Asahi Rising, Foxysox, Galileo's Star, Proxenia, So Mi Fa, and Wait a While. Three of the probable starters are from other circuits - Arravale is from Canada, Asahi Rising from Japan, and Wait a While is trained in New York by Todd Pletcher.
The connections of three European-based fillies declined invitations - Dionisia, Fauvelia, and Queen Cleopatra - as did those of the New York-based Perilous Pursuit. Also, trainer Patrick Biancone said that Lady of Venice, the winner of the Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 17, will not run and will be pointed for the Saratoga meeting.
Luas Line heads CashCall Mile cast
Biancone will not be represented in Saturday's $750,000 CashCall Mile for fillies and mares on turf, either. He considered starting Gorella, the winner of the Just a Game Handicap at Belmont Park on June 10, but said she will be pointed for the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August.
Biancone said that Silver Cup, the winner of the Buena Vista and Santa Ana handicaps at Santa Anita earlier this year, has suffered an injury and will be out of training until the fall. He did not disclose the nature of the injury.
There are nine probable starters for the Grade 3 CashCall Mile - Cambiocorsa, Dance in the Mood, Dancing Edie, Flying Glitter, Hollywood Story, Luas Line, Shining Energy, Sweet Talker, and Toupie.
Luas Line, who was fourth in the 2005 American Oaks, arrived from Ireland on Monday. The winner of the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Stakes at Belmont Park last fall, she has made two starts this year, finishing fourth against males in the Glencairn Stakes at Leopardstown, Ireland, on June 7 and fifth in a Group 2 at Royal Ascot June 21.
Shining Energy, trained by Canani, is the likely favorite. She has won her last two starts - the American Beauty Handicap at Santa Anita in April and the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Stakes here on May 29.
Dancing Edie, the runner-up in the Gamely, is seeking her first graded stakes win. She set the pace in the Gamely, but trainer Craig Dollase says she is not one-dimensional.
"I don't know if she has to have the lead," he said. "The draw is so important. I'm hoping to get the right trip that will give her best chance. She'll be forwardly placed anyway."
A stakes-heavy weekend
There are eight stakes worth $100,000 or more at Hollywood Park on Saturday and Sunday, including the Landaluce Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs on Saturday.
Thru n' Thru was added to the field on Tuesday after she worked six furlongs in 1:13 at Santa Anita on Monday. Trained by Bob Baffert, Thru n' Thru gave one of the most impressive performances by a 2-year-old at this meeting on June 15, winning a five-furlong maiden race despite facing pressure throughout.
Baffert said he did not want to wait until the Del Mar meeting to run her.
"She worked yesterday and she looked pretty good today," he said. "I'd like to get another race into her. She came out of the workout really great. I'd rather race than train."
Sharoana, the runner-up in the Cinderella Stakes on May 27, is among the probable starters in the Landaluce.