05/04/2009 12:00AM

Machowsky has no regrets

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Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Trainer Mike Machowsky says Kelly Leak is better suited to the 1 1/16-mile Lone Star Derby.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Mike Machowsky insists he does not regret keeping his 3-year-old Kelly Leak out of the Kentucky Derby. But if he did, who could blame him?

Back on March 29, Kelly Leak won the Sunland Park Derby by 1 1/2 lengths, with Mine That Bird fourth. On Saturday, Mine That Bird upset the Kentucky Derby.

Machowsky never intended to start Kelly Leak in the Kentucky Derby, preferring to wait for the $400,000 Lone Star Derby over 1 1/16 miles Saturday. Even after the Kentucky Derby result, Machowsky said he was glad Kelly Leak stayed out of the classic.

"That horse ran freakish in the mud," Machowsky said of Mine That Bird. "I have no second thoughts about not running in there. I never thought of Kelly Leak as a mile and a quarter kind of horse."

Machowsky has experience running a horse on a sloppy Churchill Downs racetrack. Southern Image, the most accomplished horse that Machowsky has trained, finished second in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in the slop at Churchill Downs in June 2004, ending a five-race winning streak that included the 2003 Malibu Stakes and the 2004 Sunshine Millions Classic, Santa Anita Handicap, and Pimlico Special. The Stephen Foster was Southern Image's final start. He was later sent to stud.

Kelly Leak, a winner of 3 of 8 starts and $621,890, worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Santa Anita on Sunday.

After Saturday's Lone Star Derby, Machowsky said he will consider 1 1/8-mile races such as the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2 and the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 7 for Kelly Leak.

"There are so many options, but I really don't think he wants a mile and a quarter," Machowsky said.

Zenyatta takes aim at Milady

Zenyatta, the champion older female of 2008 who was scratched from last Friday's Louisville Distaff Stakes because of a sloppy track at Churchill, appears headed toward the $150,000 Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park May 23.

"You get pointed in different directions, and that's the direction we're going in," trainer John Shirreffs said.

Unraced since winning the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita last October, Zenyatta would have been a heavy favorite in the Grade 2 Louisville Distaff. After wet weather arrived in Kentucky, Shirreffs decided to scratch Zenyatta on the morning of the race.

"I didn't feel like running her on an off track in her first race back," Shirreffs said.

Zenyatta has won nine races and $2,144,500. She will be part of a formidable team for Shirreffs in the Grade 2 Milady, which is run over 1 1/16 miles. He has the same race earmarked for Life Is Sweet, the winner of the La Canada Stakes and Santa Margarita Handicap.

Rail Trip sharpens for Mervyn LeRoy

Until the Milady, the most prominent race at Hollywood Park is Saturday's $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap, a Grade 2 over 1 1/16 miles for older horses. The Mervyn LeRoy will be the graded stakes debut of the unbeaten Rail Trip, who has won five races.

Trained by Ron Ellis, Rail Trip breezed five furlongs in 1:00 on Sunday, a workout that the trainer described as "awesome."

Rail Trip won his stakes debut in the Santana Mile Handicap at Santa Anita April 4, winning by a nose over Dakota Phone, another candidate for the Mervyn LeRoy.

Ellis also has an exciting 3-year-old in Canonize, who remained unbeaten in two races with a comfortable win in an optional claimer on Sunday. Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Canonize stalked the pace to early stretch and took the lead when roused. Through the final sixteenth, Canonize was not urged.

Ellis said the $150,000 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes over seven furlongs on May 24 will be Canonize's next start.

Bigger goals ahead for stakes winners

Gorgeous Goose and Mrs Kipling will be pointed for stakes later at the meeting after winning the most prestigious races of their careers over the weekend, their trainers said.

Gorgeous Goose, who ended a 16-month stakes drought in Saturday's $100,000 Wilshire Handicap, has the $250,000 Royal Heroine Stakes over a mile on turf on July 11 as a goal, trainer Mike Puype said. A 4-year-old filly, Gorgeous Goose could have a prep race in the $70,000 Redondo Beach Stakes on June 6.

Mrs Kipling won her first graded stakes in Sunday's $100,000 Senorita Stakes, a Grade 3 over a mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies. She got an ideal ride from jockey David Flores, stalking a quick pace before reaching the front with a four-wide move on the turn.

Trained by Neil Drysdale for famous chef Bobby Flay, Mrs Kipling will be pointed for the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf on May 31. If she runs well there, Drysdale said she will be considered for the $700,000 American Oaks over 1 1/4 miles on turf on July 5.

Old Fashioned's sibling on the grounds

A 2-year-old half-brother to the multiple stakes winner Old Fashioned has arrived at Christopher Paasch's stable, the trainer said on Sunday.

The colt is by Ghostzapper and is expected to make his debut this summer.

Old Fashioned won 4 of 6 starts and $583,250. He won the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct last November and the Southwest Stakes in March before finishing second in the Arkansas Derby last month. Old Fashioned was retired following the Arkansas Derby with a knee injury.

Spilled jockey uninjured

Jockey Pedro Arambula escaped injury in Sunday's third race when he was unseated from Warrensgoodwarrior following a chain reaction of bumping. Race winner Lunch Money bumped Spirited Lady, who in turn bumped Warrensgoodwarrior, who did not appear to be injured in the incident.

Lunch Money was disqualified and placed last. His jockey, Jesus Rios, is likely to face a suspension from track stewards for the incident.

* Luhuk's Dancer, a $25,000 claimer trained by Doug O'Neill, shaved .03 of a second off the seven-furlong track record with his time of 1:20.43 in Saturday's seventh race. He finished 10th in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs last August and had run in claiming races since.