08/04/2008 11:00PM

Robscarvic lands in softer spot


DEL MAR, Calif. - There once was a time when, for all the success he had in Northern California, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was a near throwout when he sent a horse to Southern California. Del Mar was a barren wasteland for him. In recent years, though, Hollendorfer has started to have the same level of success here as he does regularly in the north.

Some of that success coincides with the hiring of Dan Ward, a longtime assistant to Bobby Frankel who left the racetrack for several years before the siren call of the turf brought him back. Ward oversees Hollendorfer's Southern California string; through the first three weeks of the meet, Hollendorfer is tied for second in the standings here with eight wins.

Hollendofer has a chance to add to that total Thursday, when Robscarvic, newly transferred to Hollendorfer, dips in class and finds himself the likely favorite in the second race, a second-level $68,000 allowance for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf.

Robscarvic was fifth in the Will Rogers Stakes and fourth in the Cinema Handicap, both Grade 3 stakes at Hollywood Park, following a win against first-level allowance runners. Then he was sent to Hollendorfer.

"We've just had him a couple of weeks," Ward said. "He's been running well against tougher. We just want to put him in a spot where he can win and get some confidence. This looks like a very good spot for him. I like his form. He's a very consistent horse."

Only five others are entered in the race, but four of those runners are handled by just two trainers. Jeff Mullins has entered both Bingham and Yes It's a Cat, while Neil Drysdale entered Chevin and Ridge Dance.

Bingham will be making his first start since June 15, a situation Mullins said he has found frustrating.

"This isn't really the right spot for him," Mullins said. "I entered him in a mile-and-three-eighths race against older, but it didn't go. They put this race on the overnight at a mile and an eighth, and it didn't go. They brought it back at a mile. That's way too short for him, but he needs to run.

"I just wish they'd give all types of horses around here the opportunity to run, instead of splitting maiden-25s to make the card go. They all need opportunities."

Yes It's a Cat and Chevin were seventh and ninth in a division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day July 16. Drysdale said Chevin "blew up" that day.

"He became overheated and washed out," Drysdale said. "He did not run his race."

Ridge Dance, a recent arrival from Great Britain, "might be in need of a race," Drysdale said.