10/22/2010 4:12PM

No BC Sprint title defense for Dancing in Silks

Justin N. Lane
Dancing in Silks, who has not been the same horse since winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint last fall, will not go to Churchill Downs to defend his title.

Dancing in Silks, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, will not ship to Churchill Downs for another shot at the $2 million race, trainer Carla Gaines said Friday. Owner Ken Kinakin and Gaines made the decision after Dancing in Silks worked six furlongs Thursday at Hollywood Park in 1:13.20.

“He’s not showing any interest,” Gaines said. “I’m not taking him [to Churchill].”

After an outstanding 2009 campaign during which he won 4 of 5, including the BC Sprint, Dancing in Silks has been unable to regain top form in 2010.

His best effort was a third-place finish Jan. 23 in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap. He finished off the board in three subsequent starts, including a sixth-place finish Oct. 9 in the Grade 1 Ancient Title.

Temple City, meanwhile, remains a likely entrant for Gaines in the Grade 3 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, despite a last-place finish Oct. 2 in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

Gaines also said the California Cup Classic status of 2-for-2 Cee’s Pryme is doubtful after he bruised a foot working five furlongs Oct. 16 in a blazing 58.80 seconds, fastest of the day.

Alphie’s Bet needs time off

The $150,000 California Cup Classic on Oct. 30 lost a key player. Alphie’s Bet, winner of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in March at Santa Anita and $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes in April at Hollywood Park, is out for the season.

Trainer Alexis Barba said Alphie’s Bet was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery Saturday to remove a chip from an ankle.
“It’s not bad, but he’ll a couple months off,” Barba said. “The prognosis looks very good.”

Alphie’s Bet has won three races and $303,320 in 11 starts for owner-breeders Peter and Ellen Johnson and Teresa McWilliams. He finished third behind Sidney’s Candy in his most recent start Aug. 14 in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

Make Music for Me, the Barba-trained 3-year-old who fought his rider for six furlongs before finishing last as the favorite Oct. 16 in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby, came out of the race well and has resumed regular training.

Indian Gracey may get shot in Juvenile Fillies

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s list of contenders for the Breeders’ Cup races is growing.

Aside from Ladies’ Classic favorite Blind Luck and Dirt Mile contender Dakota Phone, Hollendorfer is also strongly considering Indian Gracey for the Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 5.

Indian Gracey was third to Rigoletta in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Hollywood Park on Oct. 3 in her stakes debut. She won a maiden race in her third start on Sept. 5 after losing maiden races in July and August to eventual Grade 1 winners – and fellow BC Juvenile Fillies contenders – A Z Warrior and Tell a Kelly.

Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s assistant at Hollywood Park, said the defections of Rigoletta and Alcibiades Stakes winner Wickedly Perfect because of injuries in recent weeks, has made the BC Juvenile Fillies more likely for Indian Gracey.

“Horses are dropping out of there,” Ward said. “What has Indian Gracey done wrong? She was second to A Z Warrior, second to Tell a Kelly, won, and was third in the Oak Leaf.”

Indian Gracey is scheduled to be sent to Kentucky on Tuesday. There is a chance that Hollendorfer could start her in the $150,000 Pocahontas Stakes over a mile on Oct. 31, but the stable is leaning toward the BC Juvenile Fillies, Ward said.

Dakota Phone, the winner of the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap in July and the third-place finisher in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes on Oct. 2, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Friday. Ward timed the 5-year-old Dakota Phone in 1:01.60, with a final quarter-mile in 24 seconds. The Dirt Mile will be the first Breeders’ Cup appearance for Dakota Phone, who was third in the $1 million Pacific Classic over 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar on Aug. 28.

There are high expectations for Dakota Phone in Kentucky.

“He’s run four good races since we took the blinkers off,” Ward said. “The Dirt Mile is a one-turn mile with a lot of speed and a long stretch.”

No Marathon for Romp

Romp gave trainer Kristin Mulhall her fifth winner in seven starters at this meeting in an allowance race over 1 1/4 miles on the main track on Thursday evening. Mulhall was even the recipient of a winner’s circle sales pitch from a Breeders’ Cup official seeking a starter in the BC Dirt Marathon on Nov. 5, she said.

Friday morning, Mulhall was not convinced that Romp needs another race within two weeks. She was leaning toward staying home, hoping to add weight to the frame of the 6-year-old Romp who has won 4 of 41 starts.

“I don’t think it’s a logical spot,” Mulhall said of the Breeders’ Cup. “But if the owners want to try it, it’s coming up weak. I wouldn’t mind the two-week turnaround if it was something we planned, but it wasn’t planned. My main thing is he doesn’t have the weight on him that I would like.”
Romp was the longest shot in a four-horse field, in which Where’s the Remote finished a well-beaten third as the 2-5 favorite. Friday, trainer Mike Mitchell said Where’s the Remote will be pointed for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Nov. 13 and not the BC Dirt Marathon.

Bejarano booked on six for BC

Indian Gracey will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who along with Joel Rosario has dominated the jockey standings in Southern California this year.

Bejarano won the riding title at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting and was second to Rosario at the Hollywood Park spring-summer and Del Mar meetings. Through Thursday, Bejarano and Rosario are tied for the lead at the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting with 21 wins each.

Bejarano has six mounts for the Breeders’ Cup, according to his agent, Joe Ferrer. Aside from Indian Gracey, Bejarano is scheduled to ride Crown of Thorns (Dirt Mile), Unzip Me (Turf Sprint), Wise Dan (Sprint), Wyomia (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and perhaps Rinterval (Filly and Mare Sprint).

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen