12/08/2009 12:00AM

Palos Verdes pivotal for Kinsale King

Email
Benoit & Associates
The victory by Kinsale King (right) in the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood at Hollywood on Sunday has trainer Carl OÕCallaghan considering the Dubai Golden Shaheen next March.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Kinsale King won his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park last Sunday, leaving trainer Carl O'Callaghan wondering if the gelding can show enough progress in coming months to merit a trip to Dubai in the spring.

Tuesday, O'Callaghan, who turned 34 on Monday, said he intends to start Kinsale King in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 23 in an effort to gain a berth to the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen in late March.

"He'll love the time between races," O'Callaghan said. "We'll take him to the farm for a couple of days and let him be a horse."

The Grade 2 Palos Verdes is run over six furlongs, and could include Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Dancing in Silks.

O'Callaghan, a native of Ireland, is based at Hollywood Park and won his first stakes in the Underwood. By Yankee Victor, Kinsale King has won 3 of 6 starts and $117,080. He won an optional claimer in a 61-1 shocker at Santa Anita on Oct. 30 in his first start for O'Callaghan.

Kinsale King led throughout the six-furlong Underwood, giving owner Patrick Sheehy his biggest win since Leesider's victory in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park in April 2007.

O'Callaghan had hoped to run Kinsale King at Golden Gate Fields on the Tapeta synthetic surface, the same kind of surface being used at the new Meydan racecourse in Dubai. But he could not find a suitable race there, leaving the Palos Verdes as the principal option.

Amen Hallelujah joins Starlet lineup

Amen Hallelujah, third in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9, will be supplemented to the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Dec. 20, according to trainer Gary Stevens.

Owned by IEAH Stable, Amen Hallelujah will join Stevens's stable for the Starlet, which is run over 1 1/16 miles and has a purse estimated at $300,000. Alex Solis will ride Amen Hallelujah, who has won 2 of 5 starts. She made her first four starts for Steve Asmussen before being acquired by IEAH and sent to Rick Dutrow.

The Starlet field is expected to include Beautician and Blind Luck, who were second and third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 6, and Bickersons and Miss Heather Lee, who were second and third in the Moccasin Stakes on Nov. 22.

No Futurity for Ranger Heartley

Ranger Heartley, the winner of an allowance race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27, will be pointed for a 3-year-old stakes at Golden Gate Fields or Santa Anita in early 2010, trainer John Sadler said on Tuesday.

Sadler had considered the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 19, but said the $15,000 supplemental entry fee was "too high."

Ranger Heartley has won 3 of 5 starts since being claimed for $32,000 in July.