12/17/2002 12:00AM

Oh Take can handle either dirt or turf


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - They're coming from across town, across the country, and off the bench for Thursday's featured seventh race at Hollywood Park. The question is whether it will come off the turf.

Eight horses, including Argentine Group 1 winner Oh Take, entered the optional claiming race, scheduled for one mile on turf. It is the only grass race slated for Thursday, and, provided no additional rain falls before then, it will remain on the turf. It rained hard here on Monday, forcing the main track to be closed on Tuesday. The next rain was not expected to arrive until Thursday night, but dark clouds were headed this way late Tuesday afternoon.

A number of the horses in this race, including Oh Take, are versatile enough to race on the dirt should the race be switched to the main track. But trainer John Shirreffs was hoping the race would remain on the turf, the only surface over which his entrant, All the Gears, has ever raced.

Oh Take is the latest high-class South American import to arrive in trainer Ron McAnally's barn. He has not raced since winning a Group 1 race in June in Argentina. That was on the dirt, but Oh Take has finished second in a Group 1 race on turf. He has won three times in 11 starts, and has finished second five other times.

Jorge Chavez, who is riding Toccet in Saturday's Hollywood Futurity, is riding at Hollywood Park all week and has the mount on Oh Take.

All the Gears most recently finished second in a similar field on Nov. 16. A horse who can be difficult to ride, All the Gears has won three times in 21 starts.

"As long as he breaks and isn't too tough around the first turn, he's all right," Shirreffs said. All the Gears, according to Shirreffs, reacts with hostility when a rider takes a strong hold of him, even though the horse needs to be rated early.

"If you grab him, he puts his head up and runs off," Shirreffs said. "You have to leave him alone. If you just grab his mane, not pull on his mouth, he'll drop his head and be fine."

Dicken's Storm invades from New York, where he most recently finished fifth in the Knickerbocker Handicap at Aqueduct.

Montemiro returns from a 21-month layoff for trainer Darrell Vienna. Montemiro won the Inglewood Handicap at this track in May 2000.

Adminniestrator was a close third in the California Cup Mile at Santa Anita last time out.

Also of interest on Thursday's card is the second race, a 1 1/16-mile allowance for 2-year-olds featuring Truckle Feature, who comes off a sixth-place finish as the 1-2 favorite in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race on Dec. 8. He is adding blinkers for this race.

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