04/23/2006 11:00PM

O'Neill has another stacked lineup at spring-summer meet

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - With a stable that numbers approximately 120 runners, trainer Doug O'Neill should be at the top of the standings at Southern California tracks.

O'Neill, 37, won his second consecutive title at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that ended Sunday, accenting his title with a stakes double on Saturday.

The Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting opens Wednesday, and O'Neill will have a good indication in the first week of how his stable will fare between now and the end of the meeting, July 16.

For Sunday's California Gold Rush program for statebreds, O'Neill has two standouts: Sam's Ace in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-olds and Lava Man in the $175,000 Khaled Stakes on turf.

Last year, O'Neill ran away with the title for the 2005 spring-summer meeting at Hollywood Park, winning 31 races, 10 more than runner-up Mike Mitchell.

"I'm happy with the horses we've got," O'Neill said. "If they stay sound, they can run every three or four weeks."

Lava Man is among four horses whom O'Neill nominated as stable leader for the upcoming meeting, along with Sharp Lisa, Thor's Echo, and Whilly.

Sharp Lisa won the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita on Saturday. She will be pointed for the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 29. Thor's Echo, second in the $2 million Golden Shaheen sprint in Dubai on March 25, may start in the Los Angeles Handicap on May 13. Whilly, unplaced in the Dubai Duty Free last month, may run in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on May 29.

Lava Man has been the leading older horse in California this year, winning two $1 million races: the Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds in January and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 4.

O'Neill is putting Lava Man back on turf for the Khaled Stakes to keep him home. Lava Man was well-beaten in major stakes in New York and Japan last fall. He was considered for the Pimlico Special in Baltimore next month until the decision was reached to try the Khaled.

Lava Man breezed five furlongs in 1:03.80 on Sunday on Hollywood Park's new turf course.

"I thought he looked great and handled it well," O'Neill said.

Lava Man has not run on turf since he finished fifth in the 2004 Crystal Water Handicap at Santa Anita. The 2005 California-bred horse of the year, Lava Man has won 3 of 9 starts on turf and $87,704. He has earned $2,184,706 in his career.

The Gold Rush program features six stakes worth $100,000 or more and four races for maidens and allowance-class runners.

Sam's Ace will make his first start since finishing fourth in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 1. His opponents are expected to include Da Stoops, Exchange Offer, and Scootin George.

The $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf is led by Moscow Burning, the 2004 California-bred horse of the year.

Buddy Gil back in training

Buddy Gil, the winner of the 2003 Santa Anita Derby, has resumed training with trainer Bill Mott in Kentucky after a layoff of more than 18 months, co-owner Scott Guenther said Sunday.

Buddy Gil, a winner of 6 of 18 starts and $804,067, arrived at Mott's barn Friday after spending the last few months in light training at co-owner Donnie McFadden's Billingsley Creek Farm in Idaho.

Buddy Gil, 6, underwent knee surgery after he was announced as retired in late 2004, Guenther said.

"We want to get him back on grass, on some kinder surfaces," Guenther said. "We'll let the horse tell us what he wants to do. This was his third knee surgery on the same knee."

Guenther said that Buddy Gil was given a full year before undergoing a medical examination that led to him being put back in training.

Buddy Gil finished sixth in the 2003 Kentucky Derby. His most recent win was an allowance race at Santa Anita in early 2004. He has not started since finishing fourth in an allowance race in September 2004.

* Balance remains on course for the Kentucky Oaks on May 5 after working five furlongs in 59.60 seconds under jockey Victor Espinoza at Hollywood Park on Saturday. The workout was the second-fastest of 33 recorded works at the distance.

* Trainer Noble Threewitt, 95, won for the first time in more than three years when Threeatonce won a maiden claimer for sprinters in Saturday's sixth race at Santa Anita.

* Apprentice jockey Saul Arias has been given a three-day suspension for causing interference aboard More Dust in the seventh race at Santa Anita last Friday. Arias's suspension begins Saturday and continues through May 3.

At a glance: Hollywood Park

RACING SCHEDULE: Wednesday through July 16. Dark Mondays and Tuesdays except May 15, May 29 and July 3-4. No racing on June 28, July 5-6.

POST TIME: 1:20 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays; 7:05 p.m. on Fridays, except for May 5 at 1:20 p.m. Other special post times: May 6, noon; July 1, 2 and 8, 12:30 p.m.

ADMISSION: (includes parking and program): General, $7; clubhouse, $10; turf club, $20. Preferred parking $3, valet parking $8.

LOCATION: 1050 S. Prairie Ave., Inglewood. East of 405 (San Diego Freeway), north of 105 (Century Freway).

PHONE: (310) 419.1500.

INTERNET: http://www.Hollywoodpark.com

2006 Hollywood Park stakes schedule

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Wed.April 26WILSHIRE HANDICAP (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 mile (T) $100,000
Fri.,April 28HARRY HENSON STAKES3YO5 1/2 furlongs (T) 65,000
Sat., April 29INGLEWOOD HANDICAP (G3)3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T) 100,000
Sun.,April 30CAL NATIONAL SNOW CHIEF STAKES3YO*1 1/8 miles 250,000
Sun.,April 30MELAIR STAKES3YO F*1 1/16 miles200,000
Sun.,April 30KHALED STAKES4YO & Up*1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Sun.,April 30FRAN'S VALENTINE STAKESF&M, 4YO & Up*1 1/16 miles (T)150,000
Sun.,April 30B. THOUGHTFUL STAKESF&M, 4YO & Up*7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,April 30TIZNOW STAKES4YO & Up*7 1/2 furlongs150,000
Sun.,April 30BARRETTS STAKES3YO & Up*7 furlongs70,000
Sun.,April 30WARREN'S THOROUGHBREDS STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up*7 furlongs70,000
Sun.,April 30PEPPER OAKS FARM STAKESC&G, 3YO & Up* 6 1/2 furlongs60,000
Sun.,April 30MAGALI FARMS STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up*6 1/2 furlongs60,000
Sat., May 6SENORITA STAKES (G3)3YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Sat., May 6RAILBIRD STAKES (G3)3YO F7 furlongs100,000
Sun.,May 7HAWTHORNE HANDICAP (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles100,000
Sat.,May 13JIM MURRAY MEMORIAL HCP. (G2)3YO & Up 1 1/2 miles (T)250,000
Sat.,May 13LOS ANGELES HANDICAP (G3) 3YO & Up6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,May 13MERVYN LEROY HANDICAP (G2)3YO & Up1 1/16 miles150,000
Sun.,May 14ALYDAR STAKES3YO1 1/8 miles65,000
Sat.,May 20LAZARO S. BARRERA MEM. STKS (G2)3YO7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,May 21WILL ROGERS STAKES (G3)3YO1 mile (T)100,000
Sat.,May 27WILLARD L. PROCTOR MEM. STAKES2YO5 1/2 furlongs65,000
Sat.,May 27CINDERELLA STAKES2YO F5 1/2 furlongs65,000
Sun.,May 28DESERT STORMER HANDICAPF&M, 3YO & Up6 furlongs65,000
Mon.,May 29SHOEMAKER B.C. MILE (G1)3YO & Up1 mile (T)300,000
Mon.,May 29GAMELY BREEDERS' CUP STAKES (G1) F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T)300,000
Mon.,May 29MANHATTAN BEACH STAKES3YO F5 1/2 furlongs (T)65,000
Sat.,June 3MILADY BREEDERS' CUP HCP. (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles175,000
Sat.,June 3GREAT LADY M STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up5 1/2 furlongs (T)65,000
Sun.,June 4HONEYMOON B.C. HCP (G2)3YO F1 1/8 miles (T)175,000
Sat.,June 10CHAS. WHITTINGHAM MEM. HCP (G1)3YO & Up1 1/4 miles (T)300,000
Sat.,June 10THE ACK ACK HANDICAP (G3)3YO & Up7 1/2 furlongs100,000
Sun.,June 11HOLLYWOOD B.C. OAKS (G2)3YO F1 1/16 miles150,000
Sat.,June 17THE CALIFORNIAN (G2)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles250,000
Sat.,June 17AFFIRMED HANDICAP (G3)3YO1 1/16 miles100,000
Sun.,June 18QUICKEN TREE STAKES4YO & Up*1 1/2 miles (T)65,000
Sat.,June 24BEVERLY HILLS HANDICAP (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/4 miles (T)150,000
Sun.,June 25CINEMA B.C. HANDICAP (G3)3YO1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Sat.,July 1CASHCALL MILE INVTL. (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 mile (T)750,000
Sat.,July 1A GLEAM INVTL. HANDICAP (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up7 furlongs150,000
Sat.,July 1LANDALUCE STAKES 2YO F6 furlongs100,000
Sun.,July 2AMERICAN OAKS (G1)3YO F**1 1/4 miles (T)750,000
Sun.,July 2VANITY HANDICAP (G1)F&M, 3YO & Up**1 1/8 miles300,000
Sun.,July 2AMERICAN HANDICAP (G2)3YO & Up**1 1/8 miles (T)250,000
Sun.,July 2TRIPLE BEND HCP. (G1)3YO & Up**7 furlongs300,000
Sun.,July 2FLAWLESSLY STAKES3YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Tues.,July 4HOLLYWOOD JUV. CHAMPIONSHIP (G3)2YO6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,July 8HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP (G1)3YO & Up 1 1/4 miles750,000
Sat.,July 8SWAPS BREEDERS' CUP STAKES (G2)3YO1 1/8 miles350,000
Sat.,July 8REDONDO BEACH STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up1 mile (T)65,000
Sun.,July 9ROBERT K. KERLAN MEMORIAL HCP.3YO & Up5 1/2 furlongs (T)65,000
Sat.,July 15VALKYR STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up*6 furlongs65,000
Sun.,July 16SUNSET BREEDERS' CUP HCP (G2)3YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)150,000

*California-bred; **Invitational