11/10/2008 12:00AM

More modest goal for Evita Argentina


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After a ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Oct. 24, Evita Argentina has an easier task at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

The $100,000 Moccasin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over seven furlongs does not have championship implications like the BC Juvenile Fillies, and the distance could be more suitable for Evita Argentina.

"Maybe she's not a two-turn filly," trainer John Sadler said. "We're taking a step back."

Owned by breeder Ted Aroney's Halo Farms and Three Sisters Thoroughbreds, Evita Argentina has won half of her four starts and $133,800. She won her stakes debut in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 6, but was comprehensively beaten by Stardom Bound in her last two starts.

Evita Argentina was fourth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 1 and was a 10-1 outsider in the Juvenile Fillies. She ran accordingly. Sixth early, just 2 1/4 lengths behind the pace, Evita Argentina faded on finish 9 1/2 lengths behind Stardom Bound.

"We found out that Stardom Bound is really good right now," Sadler said.

Last Sunday at Santa Anita, Evita Argentina worked six furlongs in 1:17, the slowest of 17 works at the distance. Sadler said that the slow time is not indicative of Evita Argentina's current form, but reflective of the conditions at Santa Anita on a blustery morning.

"She worked well, but she worked a little slow," Sadler said. "There was a head wind on the backstretch."

Even though the Moccasin reflects a major drop in class for Evita Argentina, the race will not be easy. The Moccasin is expected to include Mi Chiamano Mimi, the unbeaten winner of the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 19; Palacio de Amor, who was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes but 13th in the BC Juvenile Fillies; Pasar Silbano, a stakes winner from Ireland; Will O Way, who was third in the Debutante; and the maiden race winners Wind Caper and Wynning Ride.

Will O Way was sixth in the Oak Leaf Stakes on Sept. 27. Since that race, she has been bought privately by David and Holly Wilson and Ron Waranch from previous owners Dutch Ishmael and breeder Fred Pace. Will O Way remains with trainer Vladimir Cerin. Sunday at Santa Anita, Will O Way worked seven furlongs in 1:27.80.

Chocolate Candy impresses at two turns

Chocolate Candy gave hints at Del Mar during the summer that he would be an important 2-year-old this fall. While he did not start in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita last month, Chocolate Candy is proving his ability at the Hollywood Park meeting.

Chocolate Candy won his stakes debut in Saturday's $103,500 Real Quiet Stakes, displaying his affinity for races around two turns. The victory is expected to lead to an appearance in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 20.

"We've had a lot of confidence in him," trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. "It took him a while to figure things out, but now that he's routing, I think he's doing very well. They all come around at different times."

Owned by Jenny Craig, Chocolate Candy won his second consecutive route race in the Real Quiet, which was run over 1 1/16 miles. Chocolate Candy closed from fourth in a field of seven, winning by 1 1/2 lengths over pacesetter J P Jammer.

Chocolate Candy has won 2 of 5 starts. He was second in a one-mile maiden race at Del Mar in late August, the colt's first start at the distance. Even though, Chocolate Candy was beaten as the 3-5 favorite, Hollendorfer had a positive spin on the loss.

"You can't get down on a horse that's doing something for the first time," he said.

Nakatani nears return to riding

Jockey Corey Nakatani, who has not ridden since Sept. 24 because of a collarbone injury, is expected to return later this month, according to his agent, Ron Ebanks.

Nakatani suffered a collarbone injury on the opening day of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. He had hoped to resume riding by the start of the Hollywood Park meeting on Oct. 29, but has needed additional time to recover.

"He'll start getting on horses in eight to 10 days," Ebanks said Sunday. "He wasn't 100 percent ready."

Nakatani, 37, has suffered a collarbone injury twice this year. He missed nearly two months in late winter and early spring after being injured in a spill during training hours at Hollywood Park.

High Heel Sneakers ends losing streak

High Heel Sneakers ended a two-year, nine-race losing streak in Sunday's $70,525 Hermosa Beach Handicap for fillies and mares. It may have been a prep to the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup against males on Dec. 6.

Trainer Ben Cecil has said that High Heel Sneakers needs distance races such as the Hermosa Beach, which is run over 1 1/2 miles on turf. It is the same distance as the Turf Cup.

"The problem with a [mare] like this is there aren't too many races," he said. "Because we're running out of options, she could run against the boys, maybe the Hollywood Turf Cup."

High Heel Sneakers ($5.60) had an ideal trip in the Hermosa Beach. She stalked the pace for the first 1 1/4 miles, took the lead, and drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths.

"The race set up the way we hoped," Cecil said.

Owned by Christopher Wright, High Heel Sneakers, 5, has won 3 of 20 starts and $212,137.

Sadler fillies target stakes

Sadler has a strong team of 2-year-old fillies for the current fall meeting.

Alpha Kitten, the runner-up in the Anoakia Stakes, is being held out of the Moccasin in favor of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Dec. 13.

Emmy Darling, who finished fifth in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, is a top contender for the $100,000 Miesque Stakes over a mile on turf on Nov. 28.

Hollywood lowers pick-six guarantee

Hollywood Park has lowered the guaranteed amount of the pick-six pool on Nov. 30 from $750,000 to $500,000, citing a decline in handle due to poor economic conditions.

It will be the third time this year that the track has offered a $500,000 guaranteed pick-six pool, having done so on consecutive weekends in late June and early July for the Hollywood Gold Cup and American Oaks programs.

Super high five carryover awaits

The $1 super high five at Hollywood Park on Wednesday features a carryover of $43,609 from Sunday's program.

The wager, which requires bettors to correctly select the first five finishers of the day's last race, is being offered on a $22,500 to $25,000 claiming race for maidens over 1 1/16 miles.

There are 13 entrants in Wednesday's eighth race, but the field will be limited to 12 starters. Massive Attack is on the also-eligible list.