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Sinus trouble can't stop Solis from winning
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After jockey Alex Solis equaled a career-best five winners in a day on Saturday, he admitted that he would have preferred being home in bed.
Solis was suffering through sinus problems that made him feel "terrible and like I'm in space," he said. He was so sick that he stayed home on Sunday morning, passing his Sunday ritual of working horses on turf.
When Solis returned to riding on Sunday afternoon, he showed no effects of the illness, winning the first race on Well Done My Love.
"Maybe I should get sick more often," he said.
Saturday, Solis won five races for the fifth time in his career at Hollywood Park, and for the first time since July 1994. He teamed with trainer Bruce Headley to win three consecutive races, from the sixth through eighth, with Rocket Ready ($6), Soldier's Kiss ($5.20) and Storm Wolf ($2.80). Storm Wolf won the Laz Barrera Stakes in his stakes debut.
The victory by Storm Wolf reminded Solis of another Headley-trained sprinter, Kona Gold, the champion sprinter of 2000.
"He behaves very much" like a sprinter, Solis said of Storm Wolf. "He's very stocky."
Solis's success over the weekend vaulted him into third in the jockey standings, with 19 wins, five fewer than the leader, Victor Espinoza.
This weekend, Solis has excellent chances in the three major turf stakes of the six-day racing week. Solis rides Osidy in Saturday's $100,000 Will Rogers Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile. On Monday, he rides Buckland Manor in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile and Megahertz in the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 1/8 miles.
Megahertz, 6, is the 124-pound topweight in the Gamely, a race she has yet to win. She was third by 1 1/2 lengths to stablemate Tates Creek in 2003 and second by a length to Noches de Rosa last year.
Trained by Bobby Frankel for Michael Bello, Megahertz is seeking her 12th stakes win. Solis has been aboard for 10 of those races. In all of those wins, Solis has brought Megahertz from well off the pace, sometimes from as far back as 18 lengths.
"It doesn't matter if they go 22 and 46 or 25 and 51," he said, referring to the pace. "It's the same thing: Let her do what she does."
The Gamely has a field of seven probable starters, including Amorama, Island Fashion, Halo Ola, Miss Terrible, Nadeszhda, and Uraib.
Miss Terrible, who won the Citgo Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on May 7, gave her trainer, Brad Ross, a scare when she got sick on Sunday.
"She must have eaten something that bothered her a little bit," Ross said.
Ross said she underwent a medical examination but checked out fine. As a result, Miss Terrible's workout was postponed from Monday to Tuesday.
Makeup Artist, second by a nose in the Wilshire Handicap here on April 23, will not start. She has suffered a tendon injury, trainer John Shirreffs said.
Alphabet Kisses, who has won the Grade 1 La Brea and the B. Thoughtful Stakes in the last six months, is likely to be pointed for the $200,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 4 rather than the Gamely. Trainer Marty Jones wants to avoid a speed duel with Miss Terrible.
"If Miss Terrible runs, we won't run for sure," he said.
Leroidesanimaux to miss Shoemaker Mile
The Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile will not include Leroidesanimaux, a top turf miler who is on a six-race winning streak.
Leroidesanimaux was turned out after winning his most recent start, the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 5. He recently returned to trainer Bobby Frankel's stable after a 60-day break and is scheduled to leave for New York on Saturday, according to Humberto Ascanio, Frankel's assistant.
Ascanio said Leroidesanimaux will return to training on the racetrack soon.
"We gave him two months off," he said. "He'll be ready for the Breeders' Cup."
Without Leroidesanimaux, there are seven or eight probable starters in the Mile, led by Singletary, winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile. Other candidates are Buckland Manor, Castledale, Fast and Furious, King of Happiness, Special Ring, and Whilly. Trainer Wesley Ward said that He's Crafty could be supplemented for $7,000.
Sunday on the main track, Special Ring worked five furlongs in 59.80 and Whilly breezed six furlongs in 1:14.20. On turf, Fast and Furious worked seven furlongs in 1:30.20.
Fast and Furious and Special Ring have not started since Thanksgiving weekend, when Fast and Furious finished second in the Hollywood Derby and Special Ring finished 11th in the Citation Handicap.
Sharp maiden winner for DeLeon
My Lucky Free needed less than a minute last week to become the focus of trainer Rafael DeLeon's 21-horse stable.
The 2-year-old filly made a successful debut in a maiden race over 4 1/2 furlongs, rallying from fourth to score by two lengths in 51.95 seconds.
She received a Beyer Speed Figure of 87, and the time seemed quick, considering maiden claimers needed 1:47.38 to run 1 1/16 miles in the first race and female $40,000 claimers ran six furlongs in 1:13.34 in the second race that day.
My Lucky Free is owned by DeLeon, a former assistant to Doug Peterson. Peterson died last November, at which time DeLeon began to operate the stable.
My Lucky Free, by Mazel Trick, may resurface in the $75,000 Cinderella Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 4. That is, if she still belongs to DeLeon. He said that there has been some interest in buying the filly but that no deal has been finalized.
Another upcoming stakes for 2-year-olds, the $75,000 Haggin Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 19, is likely to feature Case Study, who won his debut over five furlongs in Sunday's second race. Trained by David Hofmans for Legacy Ranch, Case Study ($6) won by 1 1/4 lengths over Cougar Mtn Lodge, who was seven lengths clear of the third-place finisher, Scottin George. Case Study was timed in 58.46 seconds.
Monteleone fined for positive test
Trainer Frank Monteleone has been fined $2,500 after Reatta Pass, the winner of the third race at Santa Anita on Jan. 21, was found to have tested positive for an excessive level of clenbuterol.
Clenbuterol, a bronchodilator, is allowed for use to aid horses with breathing problems. It is allowed to appear in postrace tests at minute levels.
Because a clenbuterol overage is a Class 3 violation, the $16,000 purse of the $12,500 claiming race for fillies and mares has been ordered redistributed to the second- through sixth-place finishers - Suspicious Caper, Rozys Account, Smokette, Smokin' Vigor, and The Known Q.
From 20-1 to 5-1
The pick six has a $150,067 carryover for Wednesday even though none of the winners of Sunday's pick six races paid more than $19.80. One of them, though, was expected to pay much more.
Aeblus, who won the ninth race for maiden claimers by three lengths, turned out to be the gamble of the day. Listed at 20-1 on the morning-line, the filly was sent off at 5-1, paying just $12.80.
Aside from her, only one other winner of a pick six race paid more than $10, Poweroyal ($19.80) in the eighth race.