11/03/2008 12:00AM

Pamona Ball looks to fill void


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After divisional standout Stardom Bound was sold Sunday for $5.7 million at the Fasig-Tipton sale in Kentucky and bound for an East Coast campaign, the role of leading 2-year-old filly in California suddenly became vacant.

Trainer Eoin Harty may be in an enviable position with Pamona Ball, especially with the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park on Dec. 13 quickly approaching.

Saturday, Pamona Ball won her stakes debut in the $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park. The field wasn't very strong, but Pamona Ball won in a style that left Harty encouraged about her chances later this fall and into the winter when Santa Anita has Grade 1 stakes for 3-year-old fillies in February and March.

"I don't know if she's good enough to win the Starlet, but she's headed in the right direction," Harty said. "I always felt she had the talent."

Owned by Darley Stable, Pamona Ball has improved remarkably since she began racing around two turns. After losing her first two starts, both at Del Mar, she won a one-mile maiden race at Santa Anita last month and made her first start over 1 1/16 miles in the Sharp Cat. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, she stalked the pace on the rail and snuck through on the fence in early stretch before drawing off to win by a length over Toro Bonito.

The Starlet will be Pamona Ball's debut in a graded stakes.

"I was hoping she could be ready for the Breeders' Cup," Harty said. "She was unlucky at Del Mar when I ran her there twice, and we're playing catch-up now."

Purchased for $380,000 at the Barretts March 2-year-olds sale this year, Pamona Ball, who is by Pleasantly Perfect, has won 2 of 4 starts and $98,880.

Drysdale runners prep for bigger stakes

Trainer Neil Drysdale spent the weekend laying the groundwork for stakes later at this meeting.

Saturday, Liberian Freighter ($3.40) ended a streak of four third-place finishes in stakes with a front-running win in an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf. The win served as a prep for the $65,000 War Chant Stakes over a mile on turf for 3-year-olds on Nov. 27.

Sunday, Drysdale's success continued when Model ($3.40) scored an easy victory in the $75,230 It's in the Air Stakes for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Michael Baze, Model closed from fourth to win by 1 3/4 lengths over 13-1 Spenditallbaby.

The It's in the Air Stakes was a prep for the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap, a Grade 2 for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 7.

Model seems due for a victory at that level. Owned by Abergwaun Farm, Model was second to top older female Zenyatta in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar in August and second to Carriage Trail after a wide trip in the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 5.

"She ran a huge race at Del Mar behind Zenyatta," said Drysdale's assistant, John O'Donoghue.

Real Quiet tops weekend's races

There is no major stakes during this upcoming second weekend of the Hollywood Park meeting.

Saturday's $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-old males over 1 1/16 miles has an expected field of seven, including Charlie's Moment, the winner of the Gateway to Glory Stakes at Fairplex Park in September, and Escalon, who was third in the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last month.

Sunday's $65,000 Hermosa Beach Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf includes the supplemental nominee Caprice, who was third in the Dowager Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 19.

Black Seventeen getting a break

Black Seventeen, winner of the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park in September but seventh in the BC Sprint on Oct. 25, will not start again until 2009, trainer Brian Koriner said.

In the BC Sprint, Black Seventeen was second with a quarter-mile remaining and faded in the stretch. Black Seventeen, 4, has won 4 of 11 sttarts and $536,077.

"He deserves a couple of months," Koriner said.

Winchester points to Hollywood Derby

Winchester, who finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, will start in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby over 1 1/4 miles on turf on Nov. 30.

Trained by Dermot Weld of Ireland, Winchester won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds in his U.S. debut at Arlington Park in August. In the BC Turf, Winchester was ninth for much off the race and finished 13 lengths behind race winner Conduit.

Plans for Coronet of a Baron undecided

Harty said that Darley officials have yet to finalize winter plans for Coronet of a Baron, who finished third in the BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Harty said there is a significant chance that Coronet of a Baron could leave his stable and spend the winter in Dubai.

"We're still waiting to see what direction they're going in," he said.

Coronet of a Baron has 1 victory in 4 starts and earnings of $209,800.

Trainers fined for medication violations

Trainers Myung Kwon Cho and Eddie Truman have been fined $500 each after they had horses test in excess of the permitted levels of routine medications following workouts at Santa Anita in late September and early October.

The horses were being given workouts to have their names removed from the veterinarian's list. Horses are placed on the veterinarian's list for a variety of reasons, including soreness.

The Truman-trained What's Important tested in excess of the permitted level of Butazolidin, an analgesic, following a workout at Santa Anita on Sept. 25.

The Cho-trained Double Galore tested in excess of the permitted level of flunixin, an anti-inflammatory, on Oct. 2.

* Sunday's pick six, which began with a carryover of $126,284, returned $20,677 to 23 ticketholders. Bettors added $629,140 to the pool Sunday. The winner's of Sunday's pick-six races were Flashing Forward ($15.40), Persian Honey ($8.20), Century Park ($4), Taxi Fleet ($10.40), Jibboom ($4), and Salah Pick Six ($11.80).