10/29/2010 4:28PM

Mulhall has high hopes for maiden Industry Leader


INGLEWOOD, Calif.– Regardless of what happens in the sixth and seventh races at Hollywood Park on Sunday, the Oak Tree meeting has been an outstanding campaign for trainer Kristin Mulhall.

Thursday, she won an allowance race with Square Deal, who ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet in 1:08.99 and gave Mulhall her sixth winner from nine starters at the meeting.

Her two runners on Sunday could provide even more success. She starts the 2-year-old first-time starter Industry Leader in a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs and the improving Westwood Pride in the $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap over a mile on turf for fillies and mares.

It is Industry Leader that has Mulhall abuzz with anticipation.

“He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever had,” she said.

Mulhall, 28, saddled Imperialism to a third in the in the 2004 Kentucky Derby behind Smarty Jones. She says that Industry Leader is even brighter.

“Working-wise, he’s much better than Imperialism,” she said.

Owned by Mulhall and Dimitri Racing Stable, Industry Leader is a Cherokee Run colt purchased for $130,000 at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in-training by Mulhall.

She had hoped to start Industry Leader in a race over 5 1/2 furlongs earlier this month until he was briefly sidelined by an illness.

“He was training like a monster but he came up with mucus,” she said. “I’ve pushed him to get him ready for this race. I hope I have him ready to go 6 1/2. He’s 16.3 hands and he looks like a good horse.”

Westwood Pride is making her stakes debut in the Las Palmas, and faces a tough test against the stakes winners Briecat, Distinctive, Princess Taylor, Turning Top, and Wynning Ride. Earlier this week, Westwood Pride, who is owned by Kretz Racing, signaled to Mulhall that she was ready for a race during a morning exercise.

“She tried to buck me off,” Mulhall said. “After that, I called and said, ‘We need to run her.’ ”

Injury causes Czechers to retire early

The Las Palmas field will not include Czechers, a two-time stakes winner who was retired earlier this week after sustaining a soft tissue injury, trainer Mark Glatt said.

Owned by Allen and Susan Branch, Czechers, a 5-year-old mare by Indian Charlie, is scheduled to be bred to Candy Ride in 2011, Glatt said. She finished her career with 5 wins in 23 starts and earnings of $298,349.

“She was going to be retired at the first of the year,” Glatt said. “It’s happened a couple of races earlier than we hoped.”

Czechers won two stakes at Turf Paradise – the 2008 Kachina and 2009 Queen of the Green handicaps. Earlier this year, she placed in three graded stakes at Santa Anita, finishing second in the Grade 3 Monrovia and Las Cienegas handicaps and third in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap.

Fall meet begins Thursday

Sunday is the final day of the Oak Tree meeting. There is no live racing from Monday through Wednesday, but Hollywood Park will be open for simulcasting on Wednesday.

The Hollywood Park fall meeting begins on Thursday with a program at 7:05 p.m. Pacific For the rest of the first weekend, there will be afternoon programs, with a 12:15 p.m. first post on Friday, 11:15 a.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The early posts on Friday and Saturday will accommodate fans watching the Breeders’ Cup programs from Churchill Downs.

English import eyes Generous

The $100,000 Generous Stakes over a mile on turf for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27 may include Surrey Star, a group stakes-placed colt from England.

At the Tattersalls horses in training sale in England on Monday, trainer Jim Cassidy paid approximately $320,000 for Surrey Star, a winner of 1 of 8 starts, on behalf of Class Racing Stable. Surrey Star was second in the Group 3 Somerville Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket, England, on Sept. 30, and seventh in the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury in his most recent start on Oct. 23.