Updated on 09/16/2011 7:41AM

Thumbs up to import

Lone Star Park
Regiment, winning the Diamond

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - To assess the chances of a European import making his United States debut, one starts by analyzing the home team. The reviews are not always positive.

Six U.S.-based runners and one foreigner entered the Grade 3 Cinema Handicap for 3-year-old grass runners, to be run Sunday at Hollywood Park, and it takes no imagination to poke holes in the locals' form.

Five of the six locals are eligible for a two-other-than allowance or lower-class race. Their most recent speed figures are ordinary, and even the four-race win streak of favorite Regiment comes with a qualifier. His recent stakes triumph in the Diamond "A" USA Stakes at Lone Star came at the expense of a favorite (Legislator) who was injured and did not complete the race.

What Regiment has done this year is win all four starts, providing sufficient replacement for Mountain Rage, Bob Baffert's leading 3-year-old turf colt, who is currently sidelined.

"[Regiment] is no Mountain Rage, but he's coming along," Baffert said.

The 3-year-old turf division rarely picks up steam until mid-summer, and the most accomplished in the division - graded stakes winners Van Rouge, Doc Holiday, and Mountain Rage - are skipping the Cinema.

The lack of star power suggests the 1 1/8-mile Cinema is ripe to be won by Bobby Frankel's latest import. Inesperado won 4 of 9 in France, has scored twice at the Cinema distance, and has trained super for his U.S. debut for Charles Kenis and 3+U Stable.

In his most recent start, March 12 in France, he finished second in a listed stakes. The horse who beat him (3-for-5 Loup Masque) returned and finished second in a tougher race. His form flatters Inesperado, who Frankel said is "training good; he's been ready to run."

Frankel said Inesperado is "nominated all over the place. This looks like the easiest spot."

According to Frankel, Inesperado has a good turn of foot. A six-furlong work June 17, in company with Frankel-trained Karsavina (entered in Saturday's Grade 1 Beverly Hills), met with enthusiastic reports from clockers.

Kent Desormeaux rides Inesperado; jockey David Flores will try to keep his record this year perfect on Regiment.

Regiment and Johar are owned by The Thoroughbred Corp. and race coupled. Johar, trained by Richard Mandella, comes off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Will Rogers, and is bred to relish the extra furlong. He is out of the long-distance turf mare Windsharp. Alex Solis rides Johar.

The other Cinema starters are Mananan McLir, Sunkosi, Gobi Dan, and Point Prince.