05/27/2009 11:00PM

O'Neill's juvenile talent keeps coming

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Doug O'Neill has won five 2-year-old races since May 7 and could snag another on Saturday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Doug O'Neill's 2-year-olds have been unstoppable at Hollywood Park this month.

O'Neill has won five 2-year-old races since May 7 and will be after another victory when The Skinny Man makes his career debut in Saturday's fifth race.

The Skinny Man, bought for $240,000 at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training and owned by Paul Reddam, has drawn the outside post in a field of 10 in a $46,000 maiden special weight race over five furlongs.

O'Neill said on Thursday that The Skinny Man is capable of winning his debut on Saturday. "He's got a stride like he'll run all day, and he's quick leaving there, too," O'Neill said.

O'Neill could have two starters in the field if Saarface draws in from the also-eligible list. Saarface, by Saarland, could be better suited to longer races, O'Neill said.

"He acts like a colt that wants two turns, for sure," O'Neill said. "The Skinny Man is more of the now horse. Both have displayed a ton of talent."

Saturday's maiden race includes Roman Counsel and Sterling Outlook, who were second and third in a maiden race over 4 1/2 furlongs on April 29, and Really Uptown, who was second in maiden races over 4 1/2 furlongs on April 22 and May 7.

Roman Counsel and Really Uptown are trained by Mike Harrington, who said that "Roman Counsel has a better chance to move forward."

"He'll run better," he said. "He ran good the first time."

Really Uptown, said Harrington, "ran the same race twice - that may be good enough to win this."

O'Neill will have two runners in each of the two upcoming stakes for 2-year-olds.

Track N Attack, the winner of a maiden race for statebreds on May 7, and Classical Slew, a winner May 13, will start in the $70,000 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs next Thursday.

For the $70,000 Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on June 10, O'Neill will start Repo, a winner on May 10, and Southern Fireball, a winner on May 14.

Alpine Empire sidelined

The Harrington-trained juvenile Alpine Empire, the winner of a maiden special weight race by five lengths on April 23, has been sidelined and will not start in the Cinderella, the trainer said.

Harrington is optimistic that Alpine Empire can start during the Del Mar meeting this summer.

"She's a good filly and I don't want to rush her," he said.

Tres Borrachos ends skid

Tres Borrachos, the winner of the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes last July, may have earned a spot in the $700,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 11 with an upset win in an optional claimer last Monday.

Tres Borrachos, trained by Beau Greely, ended a six-race losing streak with a three-length win in the optional claimer, which was run over 1 1/16 miles. He was timed in a quick 1:41.46 and paid $49.40 as the second-longest shot in the field under jockey Joe Talamo.

Greely expressed a measure of relief at the win.

"He gets a little brave on the lead," Greely said. "He looks like he's come back to form. As soon as he asked him, he opened up."

Tres Borrachos, 4, has won 3 of 17 starts and $435,622. Following the win in the Swaps, Tres Borrachos failed to finish in the top four in six races, including a sixth in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes last fall.

Thorn Song back in Kentucky

Thorn Song, the upset winner of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on Monday, has returned to trainer Dale Romans's stable at Churchill Downs and is unlikely to return to California until the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November.

"We definitely want to make it in November," Romans said.

Thorn Song was ninth in the 2008 BC Mile at Santa Anita, leading to the final turn before fading.

Romans said Thursday that Thorn Song will be pointed for the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap over a mile on turf at Churchill Downs on July 4, a race that Thorn Song won last year.

Owned by Zayat Stables, Thorn Song, 6, has won 8 of 27 starts and $1,124,483. Romans described Thorn Song's front-running win at 9-1 in the Shoemaker as the best race of the horse's career.

"When he's on his game, he's as good as anybody," he said.

Entry box busy

Saturday's 10-race card is one of the deeper programs of the meeting in terms of field size.

There are 105 horses entered, though three of the races have also-eligibles. The shortest field is seven starters, and there are seven races with 10 or more entrants