Updated on 09/17/2011 10:49AM

'Storming' to Arlington Million


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Storming Home, perhaps the top turf horse in the United States this year, will pass the $750,000 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park July 5 and be pointed for the $1 million Arlington Million Aug. 16, trainer Neil Drysdale said Thursday.

A 5-year-old, Storming Home is unbeaten in two starts at Hollywood Park this year, winning the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 miles May 10 and the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at 1 1/4 miles June 14.

Drysdale said Storming Home's "main goals are later in the year," a reference to races such as the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.

Storming Home would have been a strong favorite in the United Nations Handicap, which will be run at 1 3/8 miles on turf.

"We were a little concerned about the humidity there now," Drysdale said of the New Jersey weather. "It's a handicap as well."

In the Whittingham Handicap, Storming Home carried top weight of 124 pounds, winning by three-quarters of a length over Mister Acpen.

By passing the U.N. Handicap for the Arlington Million, Storming Home will have nine weeks between starts. He has already won off a layoff this year. The Murray was his first start since finishing 15th in the Japan Cup last November.

Owned by Sheikh Maktoum, Storming Home has won 7 of 21 starts and $1,335,588. He began his career in England, where his stakes wins included the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket last October.

Starrer retired

Starrer, the winner of two Grade 1 stakes races for fillies and mares this year, has been retired because of complications from an ankle injury.

Owner George Krikorian Thursday said that Starrer, 5, could return from the injury, but that veterinarians have advised him to give the mare 60 to 90 days of rest before she resumes training. The timeframe would prevent a start in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Oct. 25.

"That was always the goal," Krikorian said. "If we can't do that, it doesn't serve any practical purpose to go through all the training and vigor of getting ready to be back in December or January.

"The plan has been to breed her next year. The best plan, reluctantly, is to turn her out and let her be a mom next year."

Starrer ended her career with three consecutive stakes wins - the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park last December and the Santa Maria and Santa Margarita handicaps at Santa Anita earlier this year.

Trained by David Hofmans at 2 and 3 and John Shirreffs in the final two seasons of her career, Starrer won 6 of 20 starts and $1,043,033.

Santa Catarina works on turf

Santa Catarina, the runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks last month and the winner of the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks June 14, will start in the $750,000 American Oaks July 5 after a fast workout on turf Thursday.

Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Gary Stevens were using the workout to try Santa Catarina on turf for the first time. Working alone, she finished five furlongs in 59.20 seconds, the fastest of six workouts over the distance.

"She was very professional," Stevens said. "With her action, I thought she'd enjoy the turf. All I did was get her to settle and come home well.

"It was a five-furlong work but it turned out to be more like a seven-furlong workout because she galloped out strongly. If we can do that in the afternoon, we'll be fine going a mile and a quarter."

The American Oaks is expected to draw 14 fillies. Even though she has never raced on turf, Santa Catarina is the most accomplished filly among the probables. Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, Santa Catarina has won 3 of 9 starts and $600,260. The Hollywood Oaks was her first win in a stakes race.

The American Oaks field will not include Quero Quero, the winner of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap June 7, who has sore ankles, trainer Paulo Lobo said.

"She has a little problem in both ankles, puffy ankles," Lobo said. "She will rest for two months and she will be okay."

Work for Congaree

Congaree, one of the top older horses in the nation this year, worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 Thursday at Santa Anita. Baffert is pointing Congaree for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles July 13.

Congaree has not started since finishing unplaced in the Metropolitan Mile at Belmont Park May 26. Earlier this year, he won the San Pasqual and San Antonio handicaps at Santa Anita and the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct. He finished second, beaten a head in the Santa Anita Handicap.

Delahoussaye, the owner

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye has joined the ranks of Thoroughbred ownership. He has bought a share in Angel Gift, a stakes-winning 5-year-old trained by Paddy Gallagher.

On Thursday, Angel Gift worked a mile on turf in 1:45.20 in preparation for the $100,000 Royal Heroine Stakes over the same surface and distance July 5. The winner of the Golden Poppy Handicap last October at Bay Meadows, Angel Gift is co-owned by Richard Strauss and Roberta Williford. Delahoussaye was Angel Gift's regular rider in late 2001 and early 2002 and was aboard when she won an allowance race at Santa Anita in November 2001.

Delahoussaye has not ridden since last summer when he was involved in a spill at Del Mar. One of the most popular riders in California during his career, Delahoussaye announced his retirement in January due to a lingering neck injury.

Krone working toward return

Julie Krone, the Hall of Fame jockey who has not ridden since March because of a back injury, began her comeback by exercising horses at Santa Anita Thursday.

"I had no pain and I felt great," she said. "It went real well. I had butterflies, but as soon as you get on, it's like, 'Oh yeah, this is cool.' "

Krone intends to return to riding in the coming weeks at Hollywood Park.