Updated on 09/15/2011 1:31PM

Officer may get bumped


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Officer, the winner of the Champagne Stakes and beaten favorite in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and California Cup Juvenile, may not make trainer Bob Baffert's team for the Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 15.

On Sunday, Baffert said he was leaning toward starting *, the runner-up in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 17, and Mountain Rage, who won the Generous Stakes on Saturday.

* has not been ruled out but may be pointed for the open division of the $150,000 California Breeders Champion Stakes for state-breds over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 28. On Saturday at Santa Anita, Officer breezed five furlongs in 58 seconds, the fastest of 56 works at the distance.

Asked if he still considered Officer a Derby candidate, Baffert said, "It depends on which Derby. I think think he's a good horse. You don't know if you have a [Kentucky] Derby horse until a month out. You might think you do, but that last prep is when you know."

Hong Kong new target for Val Royal

Val Royal, scratched from Saturday's $500,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park because of a wet turf course, will make his next start in the Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 16, trainer Julio Canani said.

Before the Citation, Canani had mentioned the Hong Kong Mile as a season-ending goal for Val Royal, who won the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

A 5-year-old, Val Royal is scheduled to leave for Hong Kong on Dec. 2. He was scratched 90 minutes before the Citation after owner David Milch talked with jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. about the condition of the Hollywood Park turf course.

"If something would have happened, I wouldn't have slept for a while," Canani said. "It's common sense. It was the right thing to do for the horse. Not too many times in your life do you get a horse with this much ability."

The Hong Kong Mile will be Val Royal's fourth start of the year. Val Royal returned to racing last March following an 18-month break due to a tendon injury, finishing second in the Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita. He missed the spring and summer because of foot problems but won the Oak Tree Mile in early October on his return.

Canani said that after the Hong Kong trip, Val Royal will not start again until the 2002 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 2.

Frankel may run three in Turf Cup

After winning both $500,000 turf races on Sunday, trainer Bobby Frankel may have a three-horse assault on the next major turf stakes at Hollywood Park - Saturday's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.

Frankel said Sunday that he will start Sumitas and Super Quercus, and may start Northern Quest if the course remains soft. The course was listed as yielding on Sunday, and there was a forecast for rain this week.

The Grade 1 Turf Cup is run over 1 1/2 miles. Other probables include Blazing Fury, Bonapartiste, Kalypso Katie, Kerrygold, Kudos, Motto, and Seinne.

Blazing Fury, a 3-year-old, was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

Tout Charmant may get another race

Tout Charmant, scheduled to be retired and bred this winter, may race again after being scratched from Sunday's $500,000 Matriarch Stakes because of the condition of the turf, trainer Ron McAnally said.

Tout Charmant was stuck on the also-eligible list when entries were drawn, but would have drawn into the field after Tranquility Lake was withdrawn on Sunday morning.

But McAnally was unsatisfied with the soft ground and worried that a start could risk injury.

"She's worth three or four million as a broodmare, and if you run you're taking a shot," McAnally said.

McAnally said the 5-year-old Tout Charmant may start again at this meeting.

One obvious spot is the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf on Dec. 15.

"She's ready. We'll have to see how she is," he said. "She's being bred to Storm Cat, so that's another reason we can't take any chances."

Clockers scrap new system

Less than a week after changing the terms used to describe workouts, clockers in Southern California have reverted to their original system.

Effective Saturday, clockers used "breezing" to describe horses working under restraint, and "handily" to describe a more vigorous workout. The meaning of the terms were reversed on Nov. 20 after northern California clockers campaigned for a change.

As a result of the latest change, a majority of the horses that work in California will be listed with an "H" after their times.

"Breezing is going more easily than handily," said Chuck Russell, the head clocker at Santa Anita.



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