07/07/2008 11:00PM

Odds stacked in Bone's favor


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Having a two-filly entry in Thursday's seventh race at Hollywood Park represents strength in numbers for owner Bob Bone.

Bone owns Lighten Up Rule and Sherry's High, a coupling that figures to be favored in an optional claimer for California-bred females over 6 1/2 furlongs. There are only four other runners entered in the race.

Lighten Up Rule is arguably the stronger half of the entry. Trained by Jeff Mullins, the 4-year-old Lighten Up Rule has 2 wins in 10 starts, and was second against a similar field on June 13. Lighten Up Rule disappointed Mullins in that race, when she was beaten 2 1/4 lengths, and in her previous start, a fourth-place finish as the even-money favorite in May.

"I thought she should have won the last two races," Mullins said.

Bone and Mullins claimed Lighten Up Rule for $25,000 at Santa Anita on April 6, the day the filly won a claiming race over 5 1/2 furlongs.

"Bob picked her out," Mullins said. "She was walking fine and we claimed her. She was eligible for the California-bred first-condition [allowance race] and he wanted to take a shot."

Sherry's High is trained by Mike Mitchell. Claimed for $40,000 by Bone in February, when she finished second in her career debut, Sherry's High returned to win a $50,000 maiden claiming race in March. She lost her next four starts, the most recent of which was a third-place finish in an allowance race for statebreds on May 23.

Asian Eyes, Exquisite Beauty, Sensitive Soul, and Summertime are the other starters.

Sensitive Soul won the Magali Farms Stakes for statebred maidens in her third career start on April 27, and returned to finish fifth behind Sherry's High on May 23. Trained by Dan Hendricks, Sensitive Soul worked steadily through June. The only 3-year-old in Thursday's field, Sensitive Soul worked five furlongs in 58.20 seconds at Hollywood Park last Friday, the fastest of 33 recorded works at the distance.

Exquisite Beauty makes her first start for Barry Abrams. A 5-year-old mare who has won 5 of 16 starts, Exquisite Beauty was second in a $32,000 claimer on June 15. She is eligible to be claimed for $40,000.

The Thursday program does not feature large fields, owing partially to next Wednesday's looming start of the Del Mar meeting, which offers higher purses. Of the 56 horses entered on the program, only five are not for sale. The rest of the races are claimers, including three races for maiden claimers.