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Scottsbluff sets world record in Bullet
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Scottsbluff lowered the world record for 5 1/2 furlongs on turf to 1:00.26 on Monday, when he pulled a minor upset in the $78,000 Bullet Stakes at Hollywood Park.
The previous record of 1:00.46 was set by Pembroke in the Robert Kerlan Handicap at Hollywood Park in July 1995.
Scottsbluff ($17.60) rallied from last in a field of six to win the Bullet Stakes by a half-length over 6-5 favorite Taikun. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Scottsbluff rallied wide, making up 5 1/2 lengths in the final 2 1/2 furlongs.
Taikun finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Golden Arrow.
A 4-year-old gelding owned by Dennis Weir, Scottsbluff made his first start for trainer Jeff Mullins. Scottsbluff had raced at Turf Paradise earlier this year, losing three stakes.
"We stuck him in there to get a race into him and see what we had," Mullins said.
Scottsbluff has won 4 of 12 starts and $154,026. Second in the seven-furlong Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar last summer, Scottsbluff won two minor stakes at Turf Paradise last fall.
"I think he'll run long," Mullins said.
The Hollywood Park turf course was resodded last fall and has produced fast times throughout the current meeting.
Corazondelcampeon set for Barrera
Corazondelcampeon will run in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes instead of Sunday's $100,000 Will Rogers Stakes, but only after a debate between owner Scott Merrell and trainer David La Croix over which race was better.
Corazondelcampeon is suited to both stakes this weekend - the Barrera at seven furlongs on dirt and the Will Rogers at a mile on turf - but the decision to go with the Barrera allows Corazondelcampeon to stick with the shorter distance. He has not gone beyond 6 1/2 furlongs in his career.
Corazondelcampeon has won his last two starts, the Palo Verde Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track at Turf Paradise in March and the Harry Henson Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf here April 28.
Merrell had pitched the idea of running on dirt, which was the plan as of Tuesday.
"I can't argue against it," La Croix said. "If we were to ever try him on dirt, Hollywood is his back yard. He thinks he needs to win a substantial stakes on dirt to have value as a stallion."
Corazondelcampeon won his debut by six lengths on dirt here last year. The Palo Verde Handicap was his first stakes win.
"That was a confidence booster and a chance to pick up some easy dough," La Croix said. "He was supposed to win that."
Monday, Corazondelcampeon worked five furlongs in 1:00.20.
"He got a little tired out of that work, but the track was kind of slow," La Croix said.
The Laz Barrera is led by Arson Squad, the winner of the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita on April 9. Other probable starters include Jealous Profit, Quietly Go, Remembering Star, and Northern Soldier.
The Will Rogers Stakes is led by Stratham, the winner of the La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita last month. He will face Corey County, Niagara Causeway, New Joysey Jeff, and Obridgado. Corey County won an optional claimer at a mile here on April 26.
'Silent' breeding rights to Stronach
Frank Stronach has purchased the breeding rights of Silent Name, the winner of the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita last month, and will be a partner with current owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer for the remainder of Silent Name's career, trainer Gary Mandella said.
The transaction will not affect Silent Name's racing career. A 4-year-old colt, Silent Name will continue to run in the Wertheimers' colors, Mandella said.
"He could run as a 5-year-old," said Mandella. "At the end of the year, we'll make up our minds."
A winner of 5 of 12 starts, Silent Name is being pointed for the $300,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile here on May 29. His long-term goal is the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in November.
Siren Lure considered for Triple Bend
In the nine races since Siren Lure was claimed for $50,000 in May 2005, he has earned $309,474 for the partnership of Stuart Kesselman and Tony and Marilyn Melkonian.
The figure could soar if Siren Lure wins the Grade 1, $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap here July 2, a race that trainer Art Sherman is strongly considering.
A 5-year-old gelding, Siren Lure won his fifth stakes in the last year in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap last Saturday, rallying from seventh to win by a length over Areyoutalkintome. It was the second stakes win on dirt for Siren Lure, who won three turf stakes at Hollywood on the Santa Anita hillside course last fall and winter.
"What a race he ran the other day," Sherman said earlier this week. "He had a rough trip and had to steady. He showed so much courage. We thought he was a better grass horse."
Sherman said Hollywood Park officials informed him that Siren Lure would be invited to the Triple Bend, which is run at seven furlongs on dirt.
The presence of Siren Lure in the Triple Bend is a switch from Sherman's plans earlier this year. After a win in the Daytona Handicap on dirt at Santa Anita in February, Siren Lure was considered for the San Francisco Mile on turf at Golden Gate Fields in late April. But poor weather interrupted Siren Lure's training, Sherman said.
"How things turn around," he said. "I couldn't get him to train to go long. I was scared about the track with the water on the track and the rain. I was a little easy on him."
Siren Lure is not the only crack sprinter in Sherman's barn. Last month at Golden Gate Fields, the mare Vaca City Flyer set a course record for five furlongs on turf, and Carthage beat champion Lost in the Fog in the Golden Gate Fields Sprint.
"This has been a jewel," Sherman said. "It's fun to have a few sprinters."
Sweet Freedom runs for charity
The 2-year-old colt Sweet Freedom will race for a charitable cause when he makes his debut Thursday in race 8 at Hollywood Park. According to Sweet Freedom's listed owner, Bruno De Julio, 66 percent of Sweet Freedom's net earnings (after training, jockey, and other expenses) will be donated to an organization that ultimately supports military personnel and their families.
De Julio, a clocker and handicapper in Southern California, said Sweet Freedom's earnings are earmarked for Freedom Is Not Free, an organization that he said will channel proceeds to groups that support military personnel. Sweet Freedom, sired by Sweetsouthernsaint, is trained by Shane Chipman and will be ridden by Robert Boyce in the $40,000 maiden-claiming race.
- additional reporting by Brad Free