08/10/2007 11:00PM

Molengao will face deep field


DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Paulo Lobo has a succinct recollection of Molengao's fourth-place finish in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 30.

"It was a horrible day for me," Lobo said. "I expected a much better race for him. When I was in the paddock saddling him, he wasn't the same horse. He was a little quiet that day."

Molengao was beaten five lengths by Lava Man, never threatening the winner. Lava Man had beaten Molengao by three-quarters of a length in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap in March, but the rematch in the Gold Cup fizzled. Lobo is eager for another shot at Lava Man in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Molengao worked six furlongs in 1:16.20 at Del Mar on Saturday. Lobo said he was not worried about the slow workout since Molengao worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Hollywood Park on Aug. 4.

What does concern Lobo is the depth of the Pacific Classic field. The 1 1/4-mile race is expected to have a full field. Aside from Lava Man, the probable starters are A.P. Xcellent, Albertus Maximus, Arson Squad, Awesome Gem, Big Booster, Hello Sunday, Porfido, Salty Humor, Student Council, Sun Boat, Tiago, and Time Squared.

"It's going to be a much tougher race than the Hollywood Gold Cup," Lobo said. "I don't know about that day at Hollywood Park. Breaking from the gate, he was not interested. He never grabbed the bridle."

Molengao will train at Del Mar this week, and not at Lobo's Hollywod base.

"I think this track is a little deeper than Hollywood Park," Lobo said. "To run 1 1/4 miles, they have to be fit."

Lava Man works for Classic

Lava Man worked six furlongs in 1:14.95 before Saturday's first race.

Ridden by regular exercise rider Tony Romero, Lava Man began slowly at the five-eighths pole. He was not urged early, going the first quarter-mile in 26.62 seconds and a half-mile in 51.44 seconds.

Lava Man quickened through the stretch to finish the final quarter-mile in 23.51 seconds, with Romero urging him through the final furlong.

Lava Man is trained by Doug O'Neill. The work came just minutes after O'Neill won the Grade 1 Secratariat Stakes at Arlington Park with Shamdinan, who was making his U.S. debut.

Wilko, BC Juvenile winner, retired

Wilko, the winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Lone Star Park, has been retired, trainer Craig Dollase said Saturday.

Owned by Paul Reddam and Susan Roy, Wilko, 5, won 3 of 29 starts and $2,435,133. He finished eighth in the Hollywood Gold Cup in his final start.

Dollase said Wilko has been shipped to Kentucky and may be sold at a breeding stock sale in November.

Wilko was winless in 18 starts after the Juvenile. He finished third in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap in 2006 and was promoted from third to second in the $6 million Dubai World Cup in 2006 after Brass Hat was disqualified from second for a medication violation.

Dollase also said that Cash Included, the winner of the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Breeders' Cup Stakes last fall, has been retired. Owned by Reddam, Cash Included won 2 of 8 starts and $316,872.

Earlier this year, Cash Included finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks and Fantasy Stakes and was 11th in the Kentucky Oaks in May in her final start.

"We weren't real satisfied with how she came out of the Kentucky Oaks," Dollase said.

Cash Included may be offered for sale in the fall, Dollase said.

'Leroybrown' upsets Real Good Deal

Big Bad Leroybrown pulled an upset in Friday's $107,200 Real Good Deal Stakes, a race in which 1-5 favorite Idiot Proof could only manage third and leading contender Earnednevergiven was scratched an hour before post because of a medication violation.

Big Bad Leroybrown ($13) rallied from fifth in a field of six to win the seven-furlong race for statebreds by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:23.53. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Big Bad Leroybrown was making his stakes debut. Trained by Don Warren, Big Bad Leroybrown has won 2 of 6 starts and $121,000.

Co-owner Bud Johnston said he wants to learn in coming starts whether Big Bad Leroybrown is a sprinter, or can run two turns.

"That remains to be seen," Johnston said. "Being by Wild Again, I'm hoping he can run on. He has a terrific kick."

Idiot Proof, who set a six-furlong track record with a victory in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park last month, fought for the lead on the backstretch, but faded to finish 7 3/4 lengths behind Big Bad Leroybrown.

"I could tell on the backstretch that we were in trouble," trainer Clifford Sise said. "He didn't like this track."

An hour before the race, Earnednevergiven was withdrawn by the stewards because he had been administered Air Power Equine Cough Formula, a product designed to reduce coughing in horses, according to racing officials. Security personnel witnessed the administration of the medication and informed racing officials. California regulations prohibit administering the medication on race day.

Trainer Michael Machowsky said Earnednevergiven was given the medication in the hours before the race. He said he later realized that the medication should not have been given, but said that the practice is widespread.

"Knowing the rules, I should have been scratched," he said.

Dr. Rick Arthur, the California Horse Racing Board's equine medical director, said the administration of the medication "is not an effort by anyone to drug a horse."

"It is a violation of what can and can't be done on race day to a horse," he said.

"Nothing but water can be given orally on race day, except for the two bleeder medications. There are exceptions for topical medications that don't contain prohibited substances."

Arthur said he had no knowledge of the medication being given to other horses in the Real Good Deal Stakes. The horses in the race were under security surveillance for much of Friday afternoon.

"If anybody administers this product, or any product other than water, [the security staff] are to call a supervisor," he said.

Arthur compared the medicine to Vick's VapoRub in the way it can open nasal passages.