05/24/2006 11:00PM

Sequoia King gets a second chance


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Since he made his debut at Keeneland last month, Sequoia King has been a 2-year-old that has demanded attention. Unfortunately for him, good fortune has not always been on his side.

After winning his debut by 4 1/2 lengths, Sequoia King was favored in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 4. He wheeled at the start, was away last of 12, and still managed to finish sixth.

Sequoia King has been sent to Hollywood Park, where he will start in Saturday's $65,000 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes.

"His last race was disappointing for everyone involved," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "I am anxious to see if he can rebound."

Asmussen said Sequoia King will return to Kentucky following the Proctor. The colt, who cost Jess Jackson $525,000 last September, was sent to California after the stakes schedule in Kentucky was altered and a late May stakes was eliminated, Asmussen said.

Despite his erratic behavior earlier this month, Sequoia King is the likely favorite in the Proctor, which is run at five and a half furlongs and has drawn a field of six.

is the only member of the field with stakes experience. El Banco, Genuine Talent, Lord Mysterio, and Stella's Posada have won maiden races, while Gran Tenor remains a maiden.

won a $40,000 claiming race for maidens at 4 1/2 furlongs by seven lengths in his debut on May 11. He started for trainer David LaCroix and a partnership in that race, but was recently bought by Paul Reddam and turned over to trainer Doug O'Neill.

O'Neill said Stella's Posada's winning time of 52.05 seconds was a leading factor in the purchase. O'Neill declined to reveal the purchase price.

O'Neill said that early-season races such as the Proctor give Stella's Posada a chance to win a stakes before the division leaders emerge. Later in the meeting, and especially at Del Mar during the summer, the better-bred 2-year-olds will appear more frequently.

"It's races like this you need to win to get a chance to make money," O'Neill said.

The same principle applies to the other runners. has never run beyond two furlongs. Lord Mysterio was sixth behind El Banco, but returned to lead throughout a maiden race at 4 1/2 furlongs.