10/21/2010 3:12PM

McKenzies Way gets class relief in Jack Goodman


INGLEWOOD, Calif. − McKenzies Way is in desperate need for a start in Saturday’s $55,000 Jack Goodman Stakes at Hollywood Park.

“He’s tearing the place up,” trainer Robert Troeger said. “He’s ready to run. He’s busted three feed tubs and a water bucket. He’s working on his webbing now.”

McKenzies Way has one victory in three starts, a maiden race at Del Mar on Aug. 7, and was ninth of 11 in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs Sept. 8. The race distance and circumstances worked against him that day, Troeger said.

“He didn’t break, and he has to be up in the race,” Troeger said. “He wants three-quarters.”

Goodman, run at six furlongs, has drawn a much easier field than the Del Mar Futurity. It has two stakes winners from the Los Angeles County Fair meeting at Fairplex Park last month who have won their last two starts: Celestic Night, who won the C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes over seven furlongs Sept. 15, and Clubhouse Rides, who won the Barretts Juvenile Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 19.

Clubhouse Rides needed six races to beat maidens, doing so at Del Mar on Aug. 14. In the Barretts Juvenile, he closed from seventh with a rally on the rail to win by 2 1/4 lengths as the favorite. Clubhouse Rides is trained by Craig Lewis.

Before the Afflerbaugh, Celestic Night won a $40,000 claiming race for maidens at Del Mar on Aug. 29 in his third start.

Trainer Neil French said Celestic Night developed quickly after his first two races.

“After his second race, he was a different horse,” French said. “He’s an above-average 2-year-old mentally. He’s very mature.”

French said removing blinkers from Celestic Night helped him; he was seventh and fifth in his first two starts. At Fairplex Park last time out, Celestic Night was near the pace throughout and led through the final quarter-mile.

“He’s a good-sized horse and a real long-striding horse,” French said. “He’s not a typical Fairplex Park kind of horse.”

The race drew two other horses with stakes experience: Road Ready, the winner of the Lost in the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields who was second in the Barretts Juvenile, and Winning Desire, the Afflerbaugh runner-up.