09/24/2007 12:00AM

Latin Rhythms suffers fatal injury at Hollywood

EmailLatin Rhythms, the winner of the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar in August, was euthanized on Sunday after suffering a sesamoid injury at the end of a workout at Hollywood Park, trainer Ron Ellis said.

Latin Rhythms was being prepared for a start in the $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 6.

"He was working a mile," Ellis said. "It happened inside the eighth pole."

Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Latin Rhythms won his first stakes in the El Cajon. He was considered one of the more promising late-developing 3-year-olds in California, having won 3 of 5 starts and $152,240 this year.

Ellis said that Buzzards Bay, the winner of the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park in June, is out of contention for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26 after missing training time in recent weeks because of illness.

A winner of 6 of 19 starts and $1,325,607, Buzzards Bay was scratched from the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 3 after "his blood was off," Ellis said.

Earlier this year, Ellis had considered starting Buzzards Bay in Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting as a prep to a Breeders' Cup race.

"His blood is back to normal," Ellis said. "He's not Breeders' Cup eligible so he would have had to have been supplemented."

Ellis said that Buzzards Bay will be considered for the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23, with a possible prep race in advance.

Goodwood critical for Awesome Gem

The Goodwood features an automatic berth to the $5 million BC Classic at Monmouth Park. Both races have been a long-term goal for Awesome Gem, the runner-up to Student Council in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 19.

Student Council is nominated to the Goodwood, but trainer Vladimir Cerin said he would fly the 5-year-old horse to Chicago for Saturday's $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

Awesome Gem must win or run well, ideally finishing first or second, in the Goodwood to justify a trip to Monmouth, trainer Craig Dollase said.

The Goodwood is expected to have a field of eight. Aside from Awesome Gem, the probable starters are Arson Squad, Big Booster, Lewis Michael, Spring House, Tiago, and Wanna Runner.

Dollase's stable has been in outstanding form in recent weeks at Fairplex Park, winning the Barretts Debutante with P. S. U. Grad on Sept.o15 and the Las Madrinas Handicap with Bai and Bai on Sept.o21.

Both fillies are bound for stakes in coming weeks at the Oak Tree meeting: P. S. U. Grad in Saturday's $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and Bai and Bai in the $250,000 Lady's Secret BC on Oct. 7.

"I don't like the two weeks between races, but I can't do anything about that," he said.

Dollase wants to see how they perform in those races before making any Breeders' Cup decisions.

The Grade 1 Oak Leaf is run at 1o1/16 miles on the synthetic main track and is likely to have a large field. The probable starters are Cry and Catch Me, Gentle Audrey, Golden Doc A, Izarra, Set Play, Sunday Geisha, Tasha's Miracle, and The Golden Noodle.

Set Play won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 3, a race that Tasha's Miracle missed because of illness. Tasha's Miracle won the Gradeo3 Sorrento at Del Mar on Aug. 8.

Earlier this year, Dollase had hoped that Treadmill could start in the Oak Leaf, but she has been sidelined for the last few weeks after sustaining a cut to her left hind leg in the Debutante. She did not finish that race after being pulled up in early stretch.

"She had a gash on her left hind leg that required stitches," Dollase said. "I think she was stepped on. It was a pretty good gash. She's just starting back to the track. We hope to have her back at Hollywood Park" this fall.

The field for Sunday's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes was depleted by the death of Drill Down from injuries sustained in a workout on Monday.

The Grade 1 race for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles has a probable field of six - Beresford, Dixie Chatter, Dodgen Bullets, E Z's Gentleman, Leonides, and Shore Do. Leonides, who finished fourth in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 5, may go favored in search of his first stakes win. Owned by a partnership and trained by Cerin, Leonides was beaten a nose in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship in July.

The smallest stakes field of the weekend will be Saturday's $400,000 Yellow Ribbon for fillies and mares on turf. Citronnade and Nashoba's Key lead a field expected to include Black Mamba, Mauralakana, and Memorette.