05/12/2009 11:00PM

New purchases sprint into action

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Saturday is big for new owners with ambitious plans, beyond Jess Jackson acquisition Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness. Although California sprinters Dehere Again and Guns on the Table are eligible to a second-level allowance, both start for new owners in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The six-furlong race can "put us on the map," said Bob Ike, syndicated handicapper and partner with Brett Lindenbaum in recently formed Summit Racing. The group purchased Guns on the Table, who will try to make his mark in a shallow sprint division in his first start since the purchase.

So will Dehere Again, scheduled for his U.S. debut with trainer Mike Mitchell. A 2-for-4 gelding in Australia, Dehere Again is racing for the first time since Mitchell's future son-in-law Craig Rounsefell purchased him for owners Dan Capen and Bob Tjosvold.

The Los Angeles "is a very important race," Mitchell said. "We're all kind of excited. He's a two-other-than, and I don't have to run him in a spot like this."

He may as well. The field for the Los Angeles includes aging 8-year-old Siren Lure, allowance sprinter Red Arrow, and former claimer Soul City Slew. Not a strong group.

It's a good spot to take a shot, and Guns on the Table has enough speed to possibly shake loose. Previously owned by John Connelly, the 4-year-old colt was purchased by a group that included Summit. Guns on the Table, 2 for 12, remained with trainer Bob Baffert.

Ike said Connelly "wanted to sell, and we settled on a price both parties thought was fair." He declined to reveal the price. Guns on the Table will be the first California starter for Summit.

Dehere Again was purchased in Australia for $102,000, according to Mitchell, whose daughter McCall, 25, will marry Rounsefell on Aug. 4 at Del Mar. Rounsefell, 26, worked for Dehere Again's former trainer, Gai Waterhouse, in Australia. "This is his first horse," Mitchell said. Capen and Tjosvold also own Church Service, who runs Sunday in the $100,000 Gallant Man.

Mullins's horses still in Ayers's name

Trainer Jeff Mullins ended his seven-day suspension Sunday for an Aqueduct infraction, but his California starters will continue racing in the name of assistant trainer Ral Ayers through the end of the month.

Mullins violated the rules of the New York Racing Association's race-day security barn by administering the medication Air Power to Gato Go Win prior to the colt's scheduled start in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct on April 4.

Mullins, suspended for seven days and fined $2,500 by New York stewards, was to return to New York late Wednesday night for another hearing Thursday morning.

"I'm just going to leave everything in Ral's name until this thing is over," Mullins said Wednesday.

Ayers, who has been Mullins's assistant for six years, won three races last week, but previously unbeaten Carlsbad lost for the first time Sunday in the Grade 3 Railbird.

"Now I've got my name forever stamped next to the unbeaten filly's first loss," he said with resignation.

Another juvenile win for O'Neill

Doug O'Neill did it again Wednesday. That is, win with a 2-year-old first-time starter. Classical Slew won race 1 by 5 1/4 lengths under Michael Baze, the third debut juvenile O'Neill has scored with this meet. There will be more.

"We should be involved in a lot of 2-year-old races this meet," O'Neill said, adding that his current 2-year-old roster includes 15 ready to run.

Classical Slew is owned by Joseph Lacombe Stable, while an Indian Charlie colt owned by J. Paul Reddam has been sending O'Neill all the right signals. Reddam named him The Skinny Man, a nod to O'Neill's slender brother, Dennis. O'Neill also has an unnamed Rock Hard Ten filly that "acts like a freak."

Supreme Summit back in California

Supreme Summit, last-place finisher in the Withers on April 25 at Aqueduct, has returned to O'Neill's stable at Hollywood.

"He's here, he's sound, he's just a little jarred up," O'Neill said. "We're going to continue to go over him, and figure out whether we run in the Laz Barrera or just wait."

Supreme Summit won his first two starts, both at Santa Anita, including an allowance sprint.

Ventura to try males in Shoemaker

Bobby Frankel said Wednesday from New York that the mare Ventura was a likely starter against boys May 25 at Hollywood Park in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. She will meet Whatsthescript, who worked seven furlongs Wednesday in 1:25.40 for trainer John Sadler.

Mast Track, upset winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup one year ago, will not be back to defend his title, Frankel said. He could return later in the Del Mar meet, Frankel said.

* Jockeys Mike Smith and Alex Solis took off their mounts Wednesday due to illness.