05/16/2008 12:00AM

Once-spectacular Magnificience is back racing


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Magnificience was gone, but never forgotten. And even when she disappeared after brilliant victories in both of her starts last spring, trainer Bruce Headley promised the best was yet come.

"People I've never seen before, racing fans, ask, 'How's Magnificience?'" Headley said.

Sunday at Hollywood Park, the answer will be clear. Magnificience returns from a 13-month layoff in a sprint allowance (race 3) that is the first step on an ambitious campaign.

"What am I trying to do? - go all the way to the Breeders' Cup," Headley said.

Believe it. A flashy, blazed-faced chestnut, Magnificience won her debut by more than six lengths despite breaking dead last. Three weeks later, she inhaled a small field in the Grade 3, 6 1/2-furlong Santa Paula Stakes, winning by five lengths with 109 Beyer Speed Figure that she earned while "ridden out."

But after the race, Magnificience showed signs of discomfort in her left front ankle, and X-rays were taken. Originally diagnosed as a small chip, it turned out less severe than that.

"It could have been something serious," Headley said. "It wasn't a chip; it was just a little line just above the pastern."

Arthroscopic surgery was not required. Veterinarians suggested three months off. Headley gave her six, and her comeback was further postponed by weather.

"She would have been back at Santa Anita, but with the rain and the [track] renovation I couldn't work her," Headley said.

From late February on, she has worked once a week, often with her new jockey David Flores aboard.

Magnificience drew post 5 in Sunday's five-runner field. Her main rival Renegade Ruby is stuck on the rail. Had the posts been reversed, it might not matter.

The second-level allowance Sunday is expected to lead to a start by Magnificience in the Grade 2, seven-furlong A Gleam on June 28.

"This filly is something special," Headley said.

Street Boss's itinerary is set

Headley is pointing Street Boss, the convincing winner of the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap in his stakes debut on May 10, to the $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap over seven furlongs on July 5. Headley has already mapped a schedule that would get the 4-year-old colt to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 25.

Headley is considering starting Street Boss in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar on July 27 and then the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes at the start of the Oak Tree meeting in late September. Both the Bing Crosby and Ancient Title are run over six furlongs.

Headley has a history of planning campaigns for his top horses months in advance.

A winner of 5 of 9 starts and $221,000, Street Boss overcame a bad start in the Los Angeles Handicap to win by a length, rallying from last in a field of nine.

"It looked like something would get him beat," Headley said. "His acceleration from the quarter pole was pretty astonishing."

Guaranteed pick six dropped

Citing declining interest, Hollywood Park will not offer a $1 million guaranteed pick six on May 26, and is unlikely to offer the promotion later in the meeting, track general manager Eual Wyatt Jr. said on Thursday.

The track offered the bet on the California Gold Rush program on April 27, but the pool attracted only $981,195 in wagers. Hollywood Park made up the $18,805 difference.

The track had intended to offer three $1 million guaranteed pick sixes at the meeting, including the American Oaks-CashCall Mile program on July 5.

Wyatt said widespread customer interest in the pick six on days with a carryover played a role in the decision to cancel the May 26 guarantee. Wednesday's pick-six pool reached $975,434; the program began with a carryover of $154,139 from Sunday.

"The way they hammer the carryovers, the guaranteed pool has lost its luster," Wyatt said.

Wyatt said it was unlikely that a guaranteed pick six would be offered later during the summer.

"I don't have an answer," he said. "I think at the moment our decision is not to offer it."

Hollywood Park first offered a guaranteed pick six in 1998, and the promotion was instantly popular. The track guaranteed a $1 million pool in June 1998, and attracted bets of $3,342,371. A month later, offering a guaranteed pool of $1.5 million, the pool reached $3,869,771.

In recent years, guaranteed pools have become more common in racing, including on bets such as the pick four and super high five.

Cosmic Queen impressive in win

Cosmic Queen won her debut in track-record time in Thursday's third race at Hollywood Park, but it was the style of the 2-year-old filly's victory more than the 50.72-second clocking for 4 1/2 furlongs that caught trainer Christopher Paasch's attention.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Cosmic Queen led throughout and was never threatened. She led by 1 1/2 lengths on the turn and in early stretch before pulling clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths over runner-up Trifecta King.

Smith "kept her busy from the eighth pole to the wire to not teach her bad habits," Paasch said.

By Stormy Atlantic, Cosmic Queen is owned by Charles Cono. The filly was acquired at the Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale of 2-year-olds in training for $320,000 earlier this year.

"I told Mike, 'If she wins, we'll have a good summer,'" Paasch said.

Paasch has two other 2-year-olds he is eager to run, Paradisi and Stardom Bound, both of whom are expected to make their debut in coming weeks.

Paasch said there is a chance that Cosmic Queen could start in the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes over six furlongs on June 28.

The track record for 4 1/2 furlongs lasted a week. It was previously held by Cat Dreamer, who won a maiden claimer in 50.84 seconds on May 8.

Oldies but goodies work in tandem

Perfect Drift and Boboman, veteran Grade 1 winners whose combined age is 16, put on a show in a team work Friday morning at Santa Anita. The 9-year-old Perfect Drift was all out to catch 7-year-old Boboman in the one-mile work for trainer Richard Mandella. Perfect Drift, unraced since July, broke off two lengths behind Boboman, and was all-out to catch his rival. Perfect Drift was timed in 1:38, while Boboman was clocked in 1:38.40.

With $4.6 million in earnings, Perfect Drift may have been expected to "win" the work more impressively.

"He's not going to just run by Boboman," Mandella said, adding that Perfect Drift "has had some great works here."

Mandella may start Perfect Drift in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. Boboman is aiming for the $100,000 Gallant Man at 1 5/8 miles on June 1.

Trained by Murray Johnson throughout his 11-for-46 career, Perfect Drift will be making his first start for Mandella.

Migliore and Blanc suspended

Jockeys Richard Migliore and Brice Blanc have been given three-day suspensions for recent riding infractions.

Migliore has been suspended from Wednesday through Friday of the upcoming week for failing to maintain a straight course in the stretch on Bea's Cee in the ninth race last Sunday. Bea's Cee was disqualified from second to third.

Blanc has been suspended from Thursday through Saturday for failing to maintain a straight course in the stretch on Candy Pull in Wednesday's fifth race. Candy Pull finish fifth in the maiden claimer, losing by three noses and a head.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen