07/23/2010 1:48PM

Last hurrah near for Bold Chieftain

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DEL MAR, Calif. – An interrupted preparation has left trainer and co-owner Bill Morey concerned that Bold Chieftain will not be at his best for Sunday’s $100,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap at Del Mar.

If Bold Chieftain runs a disappointing race, he will be retired, Morey said.

“We had a couple of little minor setbacks into this race,” he said. “He hasn’t worked in 10 days. Usually, he’d have a different schedule. We’re doing the best we can to get him to this race.”

Bold Chieftain, 7, will be retired by the end of the current Del Mar meeting regardless of Sunday’s race, Morey said. Depending on Sunday’s result, Bold Chieftain’s final career start would be the $250,000 Del Mar Mile on turf on Aug. 28.

“If for some reason, he doesn’t fire to our approval [Sunday], then he’ll be retired,” Morey said. “If we can get the second race out of him, then he’ll be retired. He’s been a good boy. We’re all so grateful to have had him.”

In the last year, Bold Chieftain has won such notable races as the California Cup Classic and the Sunshine Millions Classic, overcoming trouble in the latter race to post a dramatic win by a neck. Based in Northern California, Bold Chieftain won the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields on April 24 and was second, as the 3-5 favorite, in the Grade 3 Berkeley Stakes there on May 31.

Bold Chieftain may not need to be at his best to win the California Dreamin, which is run over 1 1/16 miles on turf for statebreds. The race drew a field of eight, and the only other 2010 stakes winner in the field, Acclamation, may not start.

Acclamation, who won the Grade 2 Jim Murray and Grade 1 Charles Whittingham handicaps at Hollywood Park in the spring, was also entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes. Trainer Don Warren said on Friday that a decision will not be made on a race for Acclamation until Saturday.

Bruce’s Dream, a winner of 4 of 5 starts, makes his second start of the year, having won an allowance race over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on June 25. Trainer Mike Puype said Bruce’s Dream must settle early to be effective over 1 1-16 miles.

“If he relaxes, he’ll be very strong,” Puype said.