04/27/2007 11:00PM

Lobo starting Molengao in LeRoy


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Paulo Lobo could be in for a memorable spring at Hollywood Park.

Lobo has already won an important race at this meeting, an allowance race last Thursday with the Brazilian import Right Special, who pulled a 16-1 upset against a tough field. Right Special, 5, will be considered for the $300,000 Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile on May 28.

Saturday, Lobo will start Molengao in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic track, the horse’s first start since a runner-up finish in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap in March. A strong performance in the Mervyn LeRoy could lead Molengao to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup here on June 30.

Lobo is banking on a home-track advantage for Molengao, who has been based at Hollywood Park this winter.

“I want to keep him” on the synthetic track,” Lobo said.

Lobo strongly considered taking Molengao to the Oaklawn Handicap last month, but ultimately decided to pass the race.

“I decided to skip the race to keep him fresh,” Lobo said. “He ran in two hard races at Santa Anita, the San Antonio and the Santa Anita Handicap.”

The Mervyn LeRoy Handicap will not be an easy race. The field includes Buzzards Bay, who won the 2005 Santa Anita Derby and 2006 Oaklawn Handicap. Buzzards Bay suffered a minor injury last summer and has not started since last June.

Saturday at Hollywood Park, Buzzards Bay worked a mile in 1:39.60.

Right Special can run in races longer than Thursday’s distance of a mile, Lobo said.

Right Special has raced sparingly in the last 18 months. He has had only three starts since the start of 2006, including a victory in a

Group 3 stakes over about a mile in Brazil last September, his first start in seven months.

Lobo said that Right Special had been ready to start for several weeks. The trainer has just been waiting for a satisfactory race.

“He had a long layoff after he ran in Brazil,” Lobo said. “He had a long layoff in Brazil. Maybe he likes that.”

Shoulder injury sidelines Gryder

Jockey Aaron Gryder will miss the first half of May because of a shoulder injury, according to his agent, Tony Matos.

Gryder took off his mounts last Friday after being given the

diagnosis. Gryder is expected to return by the week of May 16.

Matos said the injury occurred during a race at Santa Anita in April and that Gryder was ordered to rest the shoulder by a doctor.

Hurry Home Warren rewards Mendoza

Hurry Home Warren gave trainer Jesse Mendoza his first stakes win in Friday’s $76,450 Harry Henson Stakes.

Even though Hurry Home Warren was fully extended to lead throughout the six-furlong Henson Stakes on turf, Mendoza is hopeful that the gelding can do more than sprint.

“At some point, I’d like to try him two turns,” he said.

In the Henson, Hurry Home Warren led by a length on the backstretch, stretched his advantage to two lengths in the stretch, and won by a neck over Vaunt in the field of five 3-year-olds. Bitter Bill, the 7-5 favorite, finished last after stalking Hurry Home Warren for the first five furlongs.

Hurry Home Warren was making his stakes debut and scored the second win of his nine-race career.

“They left him alone and that was it,” Mendoza said.

A former assistant to Gary Jones and Ben Cecil, Mendoza, 44, has been on his own for 11 years.

“The first three years were kind of slow,” he said. “This is probably my best year.”

Through Friday, Mendoza had seven wins from his 10-horse stable this year, including six wins at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

Shaggy Mane works for Churchill start

Shaggy Mane, the winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park in January, worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 at Hollywood Park on Saturday. She will make her next start in the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard on Saturday, according to trainer Don Chatlos. Shaggy Mane’s time was the second-fastest of 25 recorded works at the distance. She has not started since January.