05/06/2010 11:00PM

La Nez gets key equipment change

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A puzzling third by odds-on La Nez in the $150,000 Melair Stakes on April 24 at Hollywood can be explained by a breathing impediment. Trainer Eric Kruljac said La Nez displaced her palate in the 1 1/16-mile race. She appeared to be breezing until the head of the lane when she shut down.

La Nez wore a tongue tie her first two starts - a standard piece of equipment for Kruljac - but then raced without it in her next seven races. She has been training regularly with a tongue tie and will use the equipment for her next start.

"Hopefully the tongue tie solves it," Kruljac said.

Grade 1-placed La Nez won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies in fall, and is eligible for a first-level open allowance. She has won 2 of 9 starts and $200,600.

All Due Respect adds tongue tie

Breathing problems occur everywhere, including Oaklawn Park, where All Due Respect finished more than 21 lengths behind Blind Luck in the Grade 2 Fantasy on April 2. The race was disappointing for All Due Respect, who missed by a neck to Blind Luck in the Santa Anita Oaks. It turns out All Due Respect had an alibi.

"She displaced really bad," trainer Kathy Walsh said.

The pace was slow, and Walsh said her jockey was fighting with her before she displaced her palate.

"We changed some equipment on her; she has a tongue tie and a figure-eight now."

All Due Respect shortens to a sprint race Sunday in the Grade 3 Railbird, and looms an interesting longshot under Rafael Bejarano.

Machowsky runners recuperating

Trainer Mike Machowsky will try to pull off a Preakness upset next weekend with Caracortado, while two big guns in the stable recover from setbacks. Nextdoorneighbor, once the most highly regarded 3-year-old in the barn, recently spiked two temperatures fighting a virus and Machowsky pulled the plug on a spring campaign. Nextdoorneighbor was turned out at owner John Amerman's Peacefield Farm in Temecula, Calif., and will return later this summer.

Meanwhile, barn favorite Dance With Gable will recuperate after undergoing minor surgery to remove a small bone chip from a knee. Machowsky expects the 10-for-24 allowance-caliber Dance With Gable to be back in time for fall Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.

San Juan runners-up Murray possibles

Nominees to the Grade 2 Jim Murray on Saturday, May 15, include Unusual Suspect and Skellytown, the two-three finishers April 18 in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano. The Jim Murray is expected to mark the U.S. debut of highly regarded European import Scintillo.

Nominees to the Grade 2 Milady Handicap on Sunday, May 16, include Third Dawn, Evine Actress, and Will O Way. The race is a prep for the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 13, which is expected to be the next start for Zenyatta, pending weight assignments.