07/12/2006 12:00AM

Lucky J. H. to miss San Diego

Lucky J. H. (left), ridden by Victor Espinoza, defeats Areyoutalkintome and Patrick Valenzuela in the Tiznow at Hollywood Park in April.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Lucky J. H., the winner of two stakes at Hollywood Park this year, will miss the $300,000 San Diego Handicap on July 22 because of a foot problem, trainer Carla Gaines said.

Gaines said that Lucky J. H. has resumed training, and galloped at Santa Anita on Wednesday, but that he will not be ready for the Grade 2 San Diego at 1 1/16 miles.

"It's nagging, and it's not 100 percent," Gaines said of the foot. "I missed a work because of it."

Owned by John Harris, Lucky J. H., 4, has won 5 of 11 starts and $330,435. He is having his best season by far, going unbeaten in three starts - an allowance race at Santa Anita in February, the Tiznow Stakes against California-breds here in April, and the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap on June 10.

The San Diego is the first major handicap race of the Del Mar meeting on the main track and is a prep for the $1 million Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 20. The San Diego Handicap field is expected to include Papi Chullo, Preachinatthebar, Spellbinder, and Texcess.

Papi Chullo earned a trip to the San Diego with a victory in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park on July 2. Trained by J. Buenaventura Vargas for hands-on owner Greg Norman, Papi Chullo won the 7 1/2-furlong race by five lengths as a 10-1 outsider. It was his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational last August.

"It even surprised me the way he ran," Norman said. "We were tickled with the way he finished."

A winner of 2 of 8 starts and $129,160, Papi Chullo started in four stakes in 2005, including a second in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. Giacomo, who later won the Kentucky Derby, finished third in the Sham.

Norman, who often aggressively places his horses in major races, is hoping the San Diego Handicap leads to a start in the Pacific Classic for Papi Chullo.

"We'll get a feel of how he can do around two turns," Norman said.

Spot the Diplomat targets Graduation

Gaines will have a stakes starter in the early days of the Del Mar meeting when Spot the Diplomat starts in the $125,000 Graduation Stakes for California-breds at 5 1/2 furlongs on July 26.

In his second career start last Saturday, Spot the Diplomat led throughout a maiden race for California-breds at 5 1/2 furlongs, winning by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:03.55. He had finished third to the well-regarded Idiot Proof in his career debut on June 1.

"I don't think he was too wound up for his first race," Gaines said of Spot the Diplomat. "I think the experience woke him up."

A gelding by Worldly Manner, Spot the Diplomat is also owned by John Harris.

Gaines said that Foxysox, the winner of three stakes earlier this year and the sixth-place finisher in the American Oaks on July 2, is likely to make her next start in the $400,000 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 19.

Gaines said that the San Clemente Handicap on July 29 is "a little quick back" for Foxysox. "I'm pretty sure her next start will be the Oaks," Gaines said.

Charmo out till fall after surgery

Charmo, who finished second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on May 29, is out until the fall after undergoing surgery to have bone chips removed from his ankles, trainer Julio Canani said.

The injury interrupts what was expected to be an important campaign for Charmo in turf miles. Owned by David Milch, Charmo was a maiden when he arrived from Europe last fall. He won 4 of his first 6 starts in this country, including the Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile at Golden Gate Fields in April.

A 5-year-old, Charmo has won 4 of 23 starts and $406,927. Canani said that Charmo is likely to return to training in late summer.

Molengao worth a look in Sunset

Without a deep field, the $150,000 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on Sunday provides an opportunity for lesser horses to succeed in a lucrative race.

Molengao is the sort of horse that could produce a surprise result.

Trained by Paulo Lobo for TNT Stud, Molengao has won 3 of 10 starts, but is searching for his first stakes win. This year, the 5-year-old horse was fourth in the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Golden Gate Fields in February and sixth in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap here on June 10.

"He ran well in the Whittingham, for his first Grade 1," Lobo said.

Molengao will be searching for his first turf win in the Grade 2 Sunset. His three wins came on dirt in Brazil and at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita.

One concern for Lobo is the Sunset distance of 1 1/2 miles on turf. "I don't know" how he'll do, Lobo said.

One consolation is the way Molengao ran in the Whittingham at 1 1/4 miles on turf, finishing 4 1/4 lengths behind race winner Lava Man. Molengao was ninth early and missed third place by a length.

The Sunset Handicap will not draw the circuit's leading turf horses.

The other probable starters include T. H. Approval, the winner of the last two runnings of the San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap; Leprechaun Kid, a stakes winner last year who has not started since finishing 10th in the Breeders' Cup Turf last fall; and the likely pacesetter, Wild Buddy.

T. H. Approval finished seventh in the Whittingham, racing near the front for the first mile.

The Sunset Handicap is the closing-day feature at Hollywood Park. The Del Mar meeting begins on Wednesday.

Two fillies to watch from Lobo barn

Lobo has a few interesting fillies to start in coming months, including the 2-year-old Belle Fleur, the first foal out of Farda Amiga, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2002. Belle Fleur was in training earlier this year until she developed warm shins. She recently returned to training after a brief vacation, Lobo said.

Lobo is preparing the Brazilian-bred stakes winner Nakaba for her U.S. debut. Nakaba was nominated for the Redondo Beach Stakes last weekend, but did not start. She was a Group 2 stakes winner in Brazil earlier in her career.