05/29/2008 12:00AM

Mini Do a pleasant surprise

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - There may be more ability in the 3-year-old filly Mini Do than trainer Julio Canani realized.

Since she began racing on turf earlier this spring, Mini Do is unbeaten in two starts - a front-running win in a maiden race in March and a late rally to win an optional claimer on April 30.

"She surprised me the other day when she came from behind," Canani said.

Mini Do will not surprise Canani if she wins her stakes debut in Saturday's $75,000 Manhattan Beach Stakes at Hollywood Park. Run over six furlongs on turf for 3-year-old fillies, the Manhattan Beach Stakes will be Mini Do's sixth start. She has never been worse than third.

"She's a big, good-looking filly," Canani said. "The only thing I don't like is the rail."

Mini Do will start from the inside post under Tyler Baze, who has been aboard for her two wins. Considering she was fourth in the opening quarter-mile of the optional claimer, which came over six furlongs on turf on April 30, she may be able to stalk the pace from the rail.

Owned by breeder Jeff Nielsen's Everest Stable, Mini Do is part of a six-filly field that includes four runners who won their last starts. Starry Pursuit won an optional claimer over six furlongs on turf, Thunder and Ice won a maiden claimer on the main track, and Silent Kitten won a first-condition allowance race on the main track at Santa Anita on April 14.

Silent Kitten will be making her first start on turf, her stakes debut, and 10th start of her career.

"I know she's good on synthetic tracks, but I think she'll be good on turf," trainer John Sadler said.

Exquisite Timing and Porto Marmay are the other starters. Porto Marmay, trained by Canani, was ninth in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita on April 5. She was a listed stakes winner in Ireland last July.

Perfect Drift aimed at Gold Cup

Perfect Drift, who finished fourth in Monday's Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in his 9-year-old debut, is being pointed for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28, trainer Richard Mandella said.

"I was happy with it," Mandella said of Perfect Drift's race in the Shoemaker. "I wanted to get a race into him and get him started. We'll consider the Gold Cup. He finished strongly the other day. A mile on grass is a good place to start."

Owned by William Reed, Perfect Drift has won 11 of 47 starts and $4,699,321. Third in the 2002 Kentucky Derby and third in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic, Perfect Drift has not won a stakes since the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park in July 2005, a span of 16 losses.

Amerman leaves racing board

John Amerman has resigned from the California Horse Racing Board after deciding to spend part of the year living outside the United States, the racing board announced Wednesday.

Amerman said that he and his wife, Jerry, also active Thoroughbred owners, "plan to spend a substantial amount of time during the year in our new home.

"In light of the CHRB's monthly meeting schedule and the need for special meetings from time to time, I concluded that I would not be able to properly fulfill my obligations as a member of the CHRB," he said in a statement.

Amerman's term had been scheduled to run through 2009.

Get Funky going for Kerlan

Get Funky, scratched from Monday's Grade 1 Shoemaker, may be pointed for the $75,000 Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap over six furlongs on turf on July 6, said his trainer, Sadler.

Get Funky won the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in 2006 and the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting last October. He would have been a longshot in the Shoemaker.

"I thought it was tough," Sadler said of the Shoemaker.

Seven for Gallant Man Cap

The inaugural $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap over 1 5/8 miles on Sunday has drawn a field of seven. The race is led by Big Booster, the 119-pound topweight.

Trained by Mike Mitchell, Big Booster won the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita on April 20. Despite its relatively low purse, the race has drawn a Maryland shipper in Jade's Revenge. A 5-year-old trained by Graham Motion, Jade's Revenge won the Fort Harrod Stakes over 1 5/8 miles at Keeneland on April 19.

Holmes, trainer and agent, dead at 46

Barry Holmes, the leading Thoroughbred trainer at Los Alamitos in 2001, died on Monday after suffering a heart attack, according to a statement released by Los Alamitos.

Holmes was working as a jockey's agent for Jeff Jerman and Dihigi Gladney at the time of his death.

A native of Los Angeles, Holmes, 46, had occasional starters at the major Southern California Thoroughbred tracks. Holmes began his involvement with harness horses before moving to Thoroughbreds.

He raced horses primarily at Los Alamitos, which runs cheaper Thoroughbred races at a distance of 4 1/2 furlongs.

Funeral services are pending.