10/28/2010 1:43PM

Luckarack's post should help avoid trouble


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Luckarack’s three-race unbeaten streak ended with a fifth-place finish in the Angel Island Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 11, a loss that left trainer Steve Specht puzzled.

“He didn’t run as well as I thought he would,” Specht said. “The next afternoon he had a temperature and was sick for a couple of days. Maybe he had something coming on. I’m pretty high on the colt, but that last one put some doubt in my mind.”

The Angel Island Stakes was Luckarack’s first start around two turns. He will start in a similar race in Saturday’s $75,000 California Cup Juvenile over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park, the only stakes winner in a field of nine California-breds.

On the Northern California fair circuit this summer, Luckarack won two sprint stakes at Pleasanton and Santa Rosa. In the Angel Island Stakes, Luckarack raced on the inside to the stretch and was beaten 11 1/2 lengths by Acaffella.

“He had to sit and wait,” Specht said.

In the California Cup Juvenile, Luckarack has drawn post 8, a wide draw which should help in avoiding trouble. With six of the runners coming out of sprints, there is likely to be an honest pace.

Slammer Time did not fare well in his lone sprint on the main track here in July, finishing seventh in a field of nine, but was better in two subsequent starts over a mile on turf, finishing third at Del Mar and winning against open company here on Oct. 11. Trainer Gary Mandella said Slammer Time has trained well on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track synthetic surface in recent weeks.

“I’m not too worried about it,” Mandella said. “He trains on it and that’s all I can go on. My main thing is he’s a big horse – almost 16.2 hands – and the first race was too short. I think he needed one, and I think he deserves another chance on the main track.”

The $75,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies over 1 1/16 miles, Saturday’s seventh race, features one stakes winner in Swiss Wild Cat, the winner of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes at Del Mar on July 23. A winner of 2 of 9 starts, she is the most experienced of the eight fillies in the race.

Trained by Mike Harrington, Swiss Wild Cat was third in an allowance race against open company on Oct. 7 and is making her first start beyond seven furlongs on Saturday.

The Juvenile Fillies will also be a distance test for Warren’s Flyer, who was second to the well-regarded filly Sugarinthemorning in an allowance race for statebreds against males on Oct. 10. Warren’s Flyer was fifth early and closed well in that race over 6 1-2 furlongs.

“I told my rider to let her settle and make a run,” trainer Jorge Gutierrez said. “When she was galloping out, I thought she could go a distance.”

Swiss Wild Cat and Warren’s Flyer must beat California Nectar, who won a six-furlong maiden race here on Oct. 3 by leading throughout.