05/29/2001 11:00PM

Slim pickings on Friday card


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The outstanding racing offered at Hollywood Park over the three-day Memorial Day weekend has taken its toll on an overnight program already burdened by a saturated racing calendar.

While some top tracks (Belmont Park and Churchill Downs, for example) scheduled two dark days after racing Monday, Hollywood took a single day off and barreled ahead. The racing week that ended Monday was the second six-day week in the last three weeks at Hollywood. It shows.

Wednesday's eight-race card attracted only 61 entrants (7.6 per race), and Thursday's card attracted 63 entrants (7.8 per race). Entries for the Friday card were so sparse that the card could not be drawn until late Wednesday afternoon. The product was an eight-race program with 59 entrants (7.3 per race) and a race-seven feature with a field of five.

Cryahavoc and King Slayer drop out of graded stakes and will attract much of the support in race seven, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint. The field is completed by comebackers Ora Pro Nobis and Absolute Harmony, and Mccordnskuba.

The fifth race on Friday carries the biggest purse ($70,000) and the largest field. A 1 1/4-mile turf race, for horses who have started for a claiming price of $40,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2000, it is jointly sponsored by the Thoroughbred Owners of California, and the California Thoroughbred Trainers. A field of nine entered the race, which is headed by Scattergun.

Owned and trained by Scott Hansen, Scattergun is being wheeled back just five days after cruising gate to wire in a $40,000 claiming race at Bay Meadows. It was the third career win for the 7-year-old, who has raced just 15 times.

Proven at the distance, in peak condition, and a perfect fit on class, Scattergun faces a modest bunch that includes Prairieton, Big Shot, stretcher-outer Solarino, and Gifted Athlete. The full field presents decent gambling opportunity, whereas value will be difficult to find in race seven.

Absolute Harmony has not raced since winning a $50,000 claiming race in March, and Ora Pro Nobis is a notorious nonwinner. Cryhavoc finished a disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 San Simeon in April at Santa Anita; Mccordnskuba is usually in the thick of it; and King Slayer returns to California after a fifth-place finish in Kentucky.

A full slate of racing continues Saturday, with 10 scheduled races.