05/21/2007 11:00PM

Mulhall confident $145 colt could run


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The $2 pick-six ticket trainer Kristin Mulhall wagered Sunday at Hollywood Park stayed live longer than most tickets. Mulhall singled her 2-year-old first-time starter Sky Cape in race 4, the first leg of the sequence.

"I couldn't believe he was 70-1," Mulhall said. "He outworked an older horse for fun."

Mulhall, who bred and co-owns Sky Cape, was brimming with confidence when she entered him. Then she saw who he was in against.

"I thought [Sky Cape] would win first time out, until I saw [Booted] in the race. Then I kind of lost confidence."

Booted, an A.P. Indy colt trained by Richard Mandella, entered as the most widely hyped 2-year-old of the spring. Booted was pounded to odds-on off a string of sharp works, but Sky Cape had more speed, got first run under Jose Valdivia, and won the 4 1/2-furlong race by a head over Booted. The payoff on Sky Cape was a meet-high $145.60.

In hindsight, Sky Cape's odds should have been lower. After all, Mulhall also trained his half-brother K O Love, who came out firing at the start of his career. In May 2003, K O Love won his debut by nine lengths with a 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Sky Cape ran the 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.99 seconds, earned a 72 Beyer, and will run next in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile on July 4.

There might be another good 2-year-old where Sky Cape came from. Mulhall owns and trains Mighty Work, a full brother to Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante winner Wild Fit. Mulhall said Mighty Work will not run until later this summer. The upset win by Sky Cape helped create the two-day, $850,466 pick six carryover into Wednesday.

$123 horse for leading trainer

It was a weekend of triple-digit upsets. On Saturday, the meet's leading trainer Art Sherman engineered a $123.20 upset with Cayambe, who led gate to wire in a first-level sprint for California-breds.

"He should have been 20-1," Sherman said.

Cayambe had been racing two turns and tiring in all his recent starts. "He was one of those green, run-off types, but he had talent," Sherman said.

In the paddock before the race, Sherman said he told jockey Jon Court to "let him run off going three-quarters." He did exactly that. Cayambe made the lead, widened late, and won the six-furlong race by four lengths. It capped a week in which Sherman won five races and vaulted to the top of the trainer standings, with 8 wins from 28 starters.

"It will be short-lived; I haven't got the bullets [to maintain the lead]," Sherman said. "But at least I can say I was the leading trainer for a few days."

Sherman's stable is split between Northern and Southern California, and he might not be out of bullets quite yet.

The vastly improved gelding Lang Field has won three straight turf allowance races, and Sherman will jump him from a third-level allowance into the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap on June 9, the same day he runs Siren Lure runs in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap. And he will run Soul City Slew on July 7 in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at seven furlongs.

Add Booted to Mandella's slump

Richard Mandella has been training long enough to recognize that his 0-for-16 record this spring at Hollywood is a temporary situation.

"It does frustrate me, but I have learned to roll with it," he said. "They're all running good."

That includes the A.P. Indy 2-year-old Booted, whose long-distance pedigree made him an unusual entry Sunday at 4 1/2 furlongs.

"The only reason I ran him is because he never made a mistake," Mandella said. "Everything he did was so easy and perfect that it would have been stupid to keep training him [without running]."

Booted ran like a typical first-time starter. He raced greenly, lugged in, finished with run, and came up short by a head.

"He showed he's a good horse, and he's bred to need a little more distance," Mandella said.

Booted came out of the race in good shape, and is likely to be favored when he runs again next month.

Kip Deville heads Shoemaker field

On the other end of the spectrum, the Mandella-trained 9-year-old The Tin Man worked a mile Monday in 1:38.20 and will be among the favorites in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. A field of nine is taking shape for the $300,000 race on Monday, including likely favorite Kip Deville.

Among others expected to run are Charmo, who worked five furlongs Tuesday in 59.80, and Get Funky, who worked six furlongs in 1:11.80.

The Shoemaker probable field, listed in order of likely odds, with jockeys, is: Kip Deville, Richard Migliore; The Tin Man, Victor Espinoza; Chinese Dragon, Mike Smith; Right Special, Brice Blanc; Willow O Wisp, Joe Talamo; Charmo, Martin Pedroza; Becrux, David Flores; Vega's Lord, Michael Baze; and Get Funky, Jose Valdivia.

Meanwhile, a small field is expected for the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on Monday, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares in which Citronnade, under Flores, is the expected favorite. Others expected to run, with riders, include Vacare (Valdivia), Price Tag (Alex Solis), Three Degrees (Espinoza), and Sohgol (Blanc). Price Tag worked five furlongs Tuesday in 59.80.

* Craig O'Bryan has replaced Gary Stevens as agent for Corey Nakatani, who has ridden 3 winners from 23 mounts at Hollywood since returning from Kentucky. O'Bryan will continue to represent Jon Court. Clinton Potts, formerly represented by O'Bryan, has switched to Nick Cosato, who will continue to represent Michael Baze, too.