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Updated on 09/17/2011 1:10PM
Redattore whistles in morning workout
ARCADIA, Calif. - Age is not slowing down Redattore. In fact, the 8-year-old may be speeding up. A multiple Grade 1 winner, Redattore worked five furlongs Monday at Santa Anita in a blazing time of 57.60 seconds, the fastest work of the morning and Redattore's final drill before he runs a 1 1/8 miles on grass Sunday in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap. Redattore returned to form Nov. 29, winning the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park, and has won 14 of 31 lifetime. "He's on a tear," trainer Richard Mandella said after the work.
The Mandella barn is poised for a big meet at Santa Anita. Breeders' Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect returns Jan. 31 in the Grade 2 San Antonio, while Halfbridled and Action This Day will return in coming weeks. While those runners will be among the favorites, Mandella will try for an upset with turf filly Acago in a seven-furlong dirt race Saturday - the Grade 1 La Brea for 3-year-old fillies. Acago, who is closely related to Pacific Classic winner Dare and Go, was victimized by a compromising trip in the Grade 1 Matriarch and finished fifth. Her main-track workouts suggest to Mandella she will welcome the surface switch.
La Brea runners tune up
Several of the 3-year-old fillies scheduled to run in the La Brea Stakes, first leg of the La Canada Series, turned in strong workouts Sunday.
Elloluv, who finished second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff in her last start and is in the running for a year-end championship, worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 for trainer Craig Dollase at Hollywood Park.
At Santa Anita, two other La Brea probable starters recorded the best time of the day at two different distances. Atlantic Ocean worked five furlongs in 57.80 seconds, the best time of 50 at the distance. Trained by Bob Baffert, Atlantic Ocean was scratched from Saturday's Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park to go in the La Brea. The Mel Stute-trained Buffythecenterfold sizzled six furlongs in 1:09.80, the best time of 27 at the distance.
In addition, Island Fashion worked a half-mile in 46.60 seconds for trainer Marcelo Polanco, and Stellar traveled six furlongs in 1:13.60 for trainer Patrick Biancone.
Krikorian calls shot and hits the mark
George Krikorian is the owner of an eponymous chain of movie theaters in Southern California. He also is a hands-on horse owner who likes to confer with his trainer and come to the barn for occasional visits during training hours.
His association with trainer John Shirreffs is complementary. Shirreffs is conservative in his approach with horses, Krikorian more daring. After acceding to Krikorian's wishes to race Hollywood Story in graded stakes while still a maiden, Shirreffs thought it would be appropriate to drop her back to a maiden race after she competed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. But Krikorian wanted to try once more, in last Sunday's Hollywood Starlet. Hollywood Story won the race, for her first victory, and in a Grade 1 race, to boot.
"After the Breeders' Cup, John thought it would be better to give her a confidence-booster, but I told him I thought if she was training well, maybe we could consider this," Krikorian said. "I probably would have pushed for this, even if it wasn't a Grade 1. We hadn't planned on running in all these stakes. It's just the way things worked out. After her first stake at Del Mar, she ran such a good race that we kept taking a shot with her. She was always competitive. We weren't looking to break her maiden in a stake. It just worked out that way."
Shirreffs's initial reluctance was mitigated by the eagerness Hollywood Story continued to show in her training.
"All those races didn't take anything out of her," Shirreffs said. "She didn't get upset, or back off her feed."
Krikorian also owned Starrer, who won the Santa Maria and Santa Margarita handicaps - both Grade 1 events at Santa Anita - early this year before her retirement. She is competing for an Eclipse Award against the likes of Azeri and Sightseek. Starrer beat Sightseek by two lengths in the Santa Margarita while giving Sightseek five pounds.
"I hope they remember her when they're voting," Krikorian said of Eclipse Award voters.
As for his Oscar votes, Krikorian said he likes the final episode of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. "It's pretty special," he said. "And 'Seabiscuit,' too."
Santa Monica coming up big
The Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap threatens to upstage the Sunshine Millions program as the best race of the weekend on Jan. 25. The Santa Monica, a seven-furlong Grade 1 for fillies and mares, will attract Grade 1 winners Got Koko and Sightseek, while Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap winner Star Parade also is being considered for the race. Trainer Bobby Frankel said Monday that Sightseek, beaten favorite in the Breeders' Cup Distaff in her last start, would be targeted for the Santa Monica then freshen up for the spring meet at Churchill Downs. "She bled in the Distaff; it wasn't her at all," Frankel said.
Got Koko, winner of the La Brea Stakes last year at seven furlongs, has pointed for the Santa Monica all along, while Star Parade came out of her upset win in the Bayakoa in such good shape that trainer Darrell Vienna is expected to nominate her to the Santa Monica.
* The street bisecting Hollywood Park from the adjacent Forum was renamed Pincay Drive on Saturday morning in honor of Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. One of the streets it intersects is Kareem Court, named for former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Pincay presented the trophy to the connections of Lion Heart following the colt's victory in Saturday afternoon's Hollywood Futurity.
* Congaree, the Cigar Mile winner, breezed three furlongs in 36.60 seconds Sunday morning at Santa Anita.
* The California-bred colt Anziyan Royalty may have earned a trip to the Sunshine Millions with an eight-length victory an allowance race on Saturday at Hollywood Park. A late-developing 3-year-old, he is winless on turf, but is unbeaten in four starts on dirt. Nick Cafarchia bred and owns the son of Anziyan. He is trained by Craig Dollase.
* Indiahoma, a former winner of the California Cup Mile, suffered fatal injuries in Saturday's 10th race. The 9-year-old gelding was making the 72nd start of his career while competing for the first time for a $10,000 claiming price. He was racing for $50,000 as recently as May. He won $601,337 in his career.
* Owner Michael Gill and trainer Nick Canani claimed three horses on Sunday's closing-day card at Hollywood Park: In Two Notes in the first, Grey Jag in the third, and Let's Face It in the 10th. All three had been trained by Paul Aguirre. Gill and Canani claimed 38 horses at Hollywood's 30-day meeting and have made 61 claims since late September, when Oak Tree's meeting at Santa Anita began.
- additional reporting by Jay Privman