05/23/2002 11:00PM

Sires Stakes postponed after only four sign up


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A lack of entries at Hollywood Park has forced the postponement of the $100,000 California Sires Stakes for colts and geldings from Sunday to Thursday.

When entries were drawn on Friday, the Sires Stakes drew only four 3-year-olds, including a maiden, according to racing secretary Martin Panza.

After discussing options with officials from the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, the decision was reached to move the race to Thursday. "We didn't want to run an uncompetitive race," Panza said.

The Sires Stakes will be a rare Thursday stakes and will be richest race on the program.

One of the runners is expected to be Gobi Dan, who finished fourth in the Snow Chief Stakes on April 28. The winner of that race, Calkins Road, is not eligible to the California Sires Stakes.

In recent years, the California Sires Stakes program has struggled to attract quality and quantity for the 3-year-old races. Originally run in northern California, the 3-year-old races were moved to Hollywood Park in 2000. Last year, the male division drew only five runners. The filly division drew six runners.

Field sizes have been only slightly better for the seven-furlong races for 2-year-olds run each year during the Oak Tree meeting.

The decision to move the male division to Thursday means the race will go one day before the filly division, which will also be run over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Proctor full up with Cal-breds

The Sires Stakes was supposed to share the spotlight on Sunday with the $65,000 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes, the first stakes of the year in Southern California for 2-year-old males.

Run over five furlongs, the race is heavily influenced by California-breds.

Four of the eight entrants are state-breds, including leading contenders Expression and Fabulous World.

Expression was bred by Eclipse Investments and is owned by a partnership that includes Diane Keith. By In Excess, Expression is out of the Falstaff mare Emerald Express.

Expression was third in a maiden race for California-breds on April 27, but rebounded to post a one-length win in a maiden race against open company on May 8. He is trained by Jean Pierre-Dupuis.

Fabulous World is trained by Jerry Dutton and was an upset winner at 22-1 of a two-furlong race for California-bred maidens at Santa Anita on April 5.

Fabulous World has not started since that race, the only member of the Proctor field without experience over 4 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park.

By Fabulous Champ, Fabulous World is out of the Saratoga Six mare Six Worlds.

The Proctor field also includes the California-breds Badgerup, a Bold Badgett colt who is winless in four starts, and Shoeco City, who won a maiden race for $40,000 claimers on April 24.

A $5,000 yearling purchase last October at Barretts, Shoeco City is by Tahoe City. The colt is owned by a partnership and trained by Caesar Dominguez.

Ela Ela looks good winning debut

Ela Ela, one of the top-priced fillies at the 2001 Del Mar yearling sale, made her debut on May 18 at The Downs at Albuquerque, scoring an impressive win.

Ela Ela won a maiden special weight race over five furlongs by 8 3/4 lengths in 58.11 seconds. She won despite a slow start. Owned by Stan Fulton, Ela Ela cost $165,000 at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Del Mar yearling sale, one of the top prices for females at the sale.

The filly is by Falstaff and is a full sister to Go Go, a multiple stakes winner whose wins last year included the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Chris Ray and Brad Goessler bred Ela Ela. Both Go Go and Ela Ela were foaled at Rivendale Ranch in Fresno.