Updated on 09/17/2011 10:55AM

Joey Franco will go two turns in next


ARCADIA, Calif. - Can a seven-furlong sprinter stay two turns? That is the question facing Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap winner Joey Franco, winner of three sprint stakes at the Hollywood Park meet. Joey Franco will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles when he runs next, in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on Aug. 3 at Del Mar. "We're thinking seriously about it. We'd like to see if he gets two turns as good as he runs seven, and seven and a half," assistant trainer Scott Chaney said Tuesday.

Darrell Vienna trains Joey Franco, whose Triple Bend victory was his seventh win from 14 starts, all for owner-breeder Jerry Frankel. When he runs two turns at Del Mar, Joey Franco will be in familiar territory. A 4-year-old, Joey Franco won twice last summer at Del Mar, including the one-mile El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds. Joey Franco is 2 for 3 around two turns. While the San Diego is considered a prep for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, a more likely scenario would have Joey Franco skipping the Pacific Classic and aiming for a mile race on Sept. 1 - the Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Publication's Breeders' Cup plans

The Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 25 is the long-range goal for Triple Bend runner-up Publication, whose rally in the seven-furlong race fell short by a head. Trainer Vladimir Cerin said Tuesday that Publication is likely to make just one more start before the Breeders' Cup - in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Handicap at seven furlongs on Aug. 17 at Del Mar.

"We just need some more [Breeders' Cup] points, that's all," Cerin said.

He also said that Publication would skip the Grade 1, six-furlong Ancient Title Handicap on Oct. 5 at Santa Anita because "sprinters run best fresh." Publication's four starts this year include an allowance win, a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap, a third in the ungraded Ack Ack Handicap, and a second in the Triple Bend.

The Pat O'Brien also will mark the graded stakes debut for lightly raced Casas Caballo. Making only his third start Saturday, he won a seven-furlong allowance sprint in 1:21.30 (earning a 109 Beyer), which was .26 seconds faster than Joey Franco (105 Beyer) ran in the Triple Bend. Casas Caballo, trained by Mike Mitchell, popped a foot abscess after the allowance that will require time to recover. Mitchell and owner Michael House have BC Sprint aspirations with the 3-year-old colt.

Mullins good - and lucky

Trainer Jeff Mullins scored his 15th win from 44 starters at Hollywood Park when undefeated Just Too Too rolled her win streak to five with a decisive triumph Sunday in the $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes. But the connections of the two fillies she beat already are looking forward to the rematch Aug. 2 at Del Mar in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap.

The Jim Cassidy-trained Katdogawn proved to be more than a late-running sprinter when she closed from ninth to second, three-quarters of a length behind front-runner Just Too Too. Third-place finisher Valentine Dancer was unlucky. She was blocked and steadied midstretch, and found running room too late.

"She only had a chance to run a sixteenth of a mile," trainer Craig Lewis said.

Adding insult to injury, Lewis got outshook by Mullins when both trainers dropped claim slips in for Just Too Too when she debuted Jan. 30 in a $50,000 maiden-claiming race. Mullins was fortunate.

"I don't know what she'll become. She might be good enough to go to the Breeders' Cup," Mullins said. "Gary [Stevens] said she'll run all day."

Just Too Too, owned by Richard Englander, would need to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup. For the remainder of the Hollywood meet, Mullins expects to have few starters beyond Rocky Bar in a sprint stakes Saturday. Mullins entered the week as the meet's fourth-leading trainer. He won with seven of his first 10 runners, but when the California Horse Racing Board issued a press release that stated it would review form reversals, and naming Mullins, many expected the trainer to cool off.

Mullins continued to win, winning eight races in his next 34 Hollywood Park starts after the CHRB release.

The CHRB has not released results of its form-reversal review.

Tizdubai's bloody foot no big deal

Tizdubai, the Eoin Harty-trained 2-year-old filly whose spectacular debut Sunday resulted in a grabbed quarter and a badly bleeding foot, is in better shape than originally thought. "Once we got back to the barn, it's wasn't really that bad," assistant trainer Alex Hassinger said. "There was a lot of blood, but it was nothing real serious."

A full sister to Tiznow and Budroyale, Tizdubai earned an ordinary 69 Beyer Speed Figure, but it was the way she won that suggests the filly could be a star. Blocked and full of run behind horses from the five-sixteenths to the three-sixteenths, she split horses into the lane, shot after the winner, and won geared down by 1 1/2 lengths. It was seven lengths back to the third-place finisher. Tizdubai is likely to make her next start at Del Mar.

* Ruler's Court, a Harty-trained colt who won his June 11 debut with an 88 Beyer, looked strong Tuesday working five furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:00.60. He will be among the favorites July 19 in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship.

Medicis, who scratched from the Triple Bend on Saturday, when he came down with a cough, could turn up in one of the best sprints of the year, on July 26 at Del Mar. Trainer Richard Mandella said if Medicis recovers in time, he could make the Grade 2 Bing Crosby. The six-furlong race is expected to attract Kona Gold, Crafty C.T., Disturbingthepeace, and Captain Squire, among others.

* Mandella said The Tin Man, runner-up Saturday in the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park, will return to California and start next Aug. 16 in the Grade 1 Arlington Million.