11/20/2006 12:00AM

Smallest field, most intrigue


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Of the three Grade 1 races that will be run at Hollywood Park during this weekend's turf festival, it's hard to pick a favorite among the Citation and Matriarch, both of which are expected to have maximum 14-horse fields, and the Hollywood Derby, which will have the smallest field, but brings the most intrigue.

That's because Showing Up is shipping in from the East, Dark Islander is coming back following an impressive victory in last month's Oak Tree Derby, and Brother Derek looks poised to make his turf debut in the 1 1/4-mile race this Sunday.

Brother Derek's chances of running were enhanced by a workout this past Sunday that impressed trainer Dan Hendricks, who is deferring the final decision on running in the race to owner Cecil Peacock. Of the 44 horses who worked on Hollywood's turf course Sunday, only Brother Derek's work was termed "breezing" by the clockers, who got him going five furlongs in 1:01.40 under exercise rider Luis Ortega.

"He breezed real nice, seemed real comfortable, and wasn't aggressive at all," Hendricks said. "Luis said he felt good. We're going to enter, and we plan on running. We're going to talk it over during the week, and as long as he's 100 percent, he'll run. Mr. Peacock wants to run."

Dark Islander also worked five furlongs on turf Sunday at Hollywood Park. He was timed in 1:02.40.

In addition to Brother Derek, Dark Islander, and Showing Up, the Hollywood Derby field is expected to include Crested, Ivan Denisovich, Kip Deville, Obrigado, Vega's Lord, and Zann. Falcon Scott and On Board Again are possible.

Zann worked six furlongs on turf in 1:17 Sunday for trainer Mike Machowsky, and Obrigado worked seven furlongs in 1:27 for Neil Drysdale.

Without 'Tin Man,' Citation overflows

The absence of The Tin Man from the Citation on Friday has left Ashkal Way, Becrux, and Rob Roy as the co-highweights at 119 pounds for the 1 1/16-mile race.

Richard Mandella, the trainer of The Tin Man, said on Saturday that the Arlington Million winner was "a little stiff and sore" and would get a vacation.

Ashkal Way is shipping in from New York, where he captured the Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park in his last start. He is trained by Saeed bin Suroor, whose New York-based assistant is Rick Mettee. Becrux most recently won the Woodbine Mile. Rob Roy was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Mile, then was transferred to Drysdale, who also trains Becrux.

Both Becrux (six furlongs in 1:13.40) and Rob Roy (seven furlongs, 1:28.60) worked on the Hollywood turf on Sunday morning.

Others expected for the Citation are Bravo Maestro, Cosmonaut, Courtnall, Hendrix, Place Cowboy, Silent Name, Stormin Away, Sweet Return, Three Valleys, and Whilly. Lord Admiral and Rebel Rebel are possible.

Hendrix worked a half-mile on turf on Sunday in 50 seconds for trainer Craig Dollase, who will also send out Courtnall. Sweet Return worked five furlongs on turf on Sunday in 1:02.60 for trainer Ron McAnally.

Top This and That advances

Top This and That earned himself a spot in the Grade 3, $100,000 Native Diver Handicap on Dec. 10 with his late-running victory in a third-level allowance race on Sunday. The victory was the second in 11 starts this year for Top This and That, who was fifth in the California Cup Classic in his previous start.

"From the first day he came over here, his exercise rider, Becky Curtis, was telling me how good he got over the Cushion Track," said Hendricks, who trains Top This and That.

Hendricks said he might run turf specialist Runaway Dancer in the Native Diver, too, believing that turf horses can adjust better to Cushion Track than a conventional dirt surface. Hendricks also said that if Brother Derek does not go in the Hollywood Derby, the Native Diver would be an option for him as well.

Nakatani wins five

Corey Nakatani came within one victory of equaling the single-day record for wins by a jockey at Hollywood on Saturday by riding five winners, including four straight.

"It feels great," Nakatani said. "Five in a day is a remarkable day in itself. Being only 28 doesn't hurt my cause," he joked. Nakatani is 36.

Nakatani's fifth winner came with I'll Prey for You in the seventh race. He finished third aboard favored Notional in the Hollywood Prevue while seeking his sixth win of the day.

Three jockeys - Kent Desormeaux, Laffit Pincay Jr., and Bill Shoemaker - hold the record of six wins on a Hollywood Park card. Desormeaux was the last to do it, on July 3, 1992. It is more difficult now for a rider to win six in a day, since major California tracks generally only run eight races a day during the week.

Nakatani's four straight wins was well short of the Hollywood record of seven, set by Chris McCarron over two days, Nov. 25-26, 1983.

Late post helps pick six handle

The delayed post on Sunday, owing to concerns over Cushion Track, might very well have sparked an uptick in handle on the pick six.

There was a carryover of $148,201 entering the card, and another $900,902 was bet into the pool on Sunday. The previous Sunday, $753,116 was bet into a $123,041 carryover from the previous Saturday.

The pick six was hit on Sunday, returning $108,069.60. Had runner-up Seven Steps captured the final race Sunday, there would have been a two-day carryover into Wednesday's card.

* Jockey Richard Migliore picked up his first Hollywood Park win on Saturday when he guided the Doug O'Neill-trained Moogie to victory in a six-furlong allowance race.