Updated on 09/17/2011 11:54AM

Jockey ends 12-year hiatus


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Frank Olivares will end a 12-year retirement when he rides Laffit, a horse he formerly trained, in Sunday's fifth race at Hollywood Park.

Olivares, 53, announced last month that was folding his training stable to return to riding for the first time since December 1990. For the past several weeks, he has been a fixture on the backstretch, exercising horses.

"I'll be excited. I wish it was today," Olivares said Friday on the backstretch. "I'm anxious to get going. I've been getting busier and busier each morning."

Olivares will ride Laffit in a six-furlong race for $9,000 to $10,000 claimers. A 4-year-old, Laffit has won 3 of 17 starts and $73,921 for owner Jim Whyte. Last summer and fall, Laffit was based with Olivares. Under Olivares, he pulled an upset win at 12-1 in the Foothill Stakes at Fairplex Park.

Most recently, Laffit finished ninth in a turf sprint for $40,000 claimers on May 31. The appearance in the $10,000 claimer marks Laffit's lowest class level.

"I think he'll win," Olivares said. "I won a stakes with him at Pomona. He's had some problems and was off for a while."

As a jockey, Olivares won 1,775 races from 1968 to 1990. His mounts earned more than $30 million. One of his biggest upsets came aboard Croeso in the 1983 Florida Derby for trainer Jerry Fanning, who is now training Laffit.

"I've been working quite a few horses for Jerry," Olivares said. "It seems like old times."

Olivares has been eager to resume riding, hoping to attract the attention of younger trainers.

"All of these young guys haven't seen me ride," he said. "I think I'll make an impression on them on Sunday and hopefully pick up some of their business."

Perfect Drift to skip Gold Cup

Perfect Drift, the winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs last month, will not ship to Hollywood Park for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 13.

Trainer Murray Johnson said Friday that Perfect Drift will stay in the Midwest this summer and will start in the $250,000 Arlington Handicap on July 26 and the $1 million Arlington Million on Aug. 16.

"We thought with the heat of the summer and the shipping, it could put us in a position where we could be knocked out," he said. "It was a management decision."

Without Perfect Drift, who would have been a top contender, the Gold Cup field is likely to have six starters - Congaree, Golden Ticket, Kudos, Piensa Sonando, Rodion, and Western Pride.

Congaree and Kudos lead the field. Congaree was fifth in the Met Mile at Belmont Park on May 26, but he won three stakes earlier this year and was a close second to Milwaukee Brew in the Santa Anita Handicap.

Kudos finished third in the Santa Anita Handicap but rebounded to win the Californian Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on June 14.

Ten Most Wanted looms in Swaps

The Gold Cup is the top race on a program that includes the $400,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles and the $250,000 A Gleam Invitational Handicap for fillies and mares over seven furlongs.

The Swaps will have a short field and is missing many of the top 3-year-olds who raced in California earlier this year.

As of Friday, the probables were Blazonry, Bullistic, During, Eye of the Tiger, Outta Here, and Ten Most Wanted. None of those colts started in the Santa Anita Derby.

Ten Most Wanted, the winner of the Illinois Derby and the runner-up in the Belmont Stakes, will start as a strong favorite. There also will be support for Eye of the Tiger, who beat three opponents in the Affirmed Handicap over 1 1/16 miles June 22.

The A Gleam Handicap is led by Madame Pietra, who has won four consecutive stakes. She will face a field that includes Affluent, Bear Fan, and Cee's Elegance.

Buffythecenterfold, the winner of the Railbird Stakes on May 4, was invited to run in the A Gleam Handicap, but she is being sent to Calder for the Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes on July 12.

Flores gets three-day suspension

David Flores has been given a three-day suspension for his ride aboard Purple Cop in the seventh race last Sunday.

Purple Cop finished first in a seven-furlong allowance race for California-breds but was disqualified and placed third for failure to maintain a straight course in the stretch.

Flores's suspension begins Friday and runs through July 13, but it does not prevent him from riding in the A Gleam, Gold Cup, or Swaps, which are exempt from such suspensions.