01/16/2010 12:00AM

Timber Reserve gets rebound try


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Timber Reserve, who has been a source of both pride and frustration for trainer John Kimmel throughout his injury-plagued career, will try to bounce back from one of his worst performances when he takes on six rivals in Monday's $56,000 allowance feature over 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park.

Timber Reserve's finest hour came on Labor Day 2007 in his 3-year-old finale when he upset the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. He has started just nine times and won but once since, that lone victory coming under allowance conditions the following summer at Saratoga.

Kimmel was forced to stop on the son of Forest Camp for nearly 10 months due to a suspensory issue late in 2008 and thought he had Timber Reserve back in peak form following a pair of third-place finishes in overnight stakes last fall in New York. But a head-scratching 14th-place effort in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap in November has had the veteran horseman perplexed ever since.

"He had a nice progression of races, was training well, and I was looking for a big performance in the Clark," Kimmel said. "And he ran absolutely terrible. I was left with no answers for the poor performance, especially after watching him train so well here since he's gotten to Palm Meadows. There just doesn't seem to be anything amiss. He's got his physical issues, but right now I think we've got him right and it would be nice to see him get things turned around this year."

Timber Reserve will be ridden by Javier Castellano, who was aboard for his breakthrough effort in the 2007 Pennsylvania Derby. He'll face a field that also includes graded winners Delosvientos and Hunting, along with Pechito, who was recently purchased privately by trainer Marty Wolfson for the Farnsworth Stable LLC.

Delosvientos, a long-distance specialist, won four stakes including the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap in 2008, but was winless in three starts last year. He has not raced since finishing second in an overnight handicap at Suffolk Downs on Oct. 5.

Hunting, winner of the Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap in 2007, is winless in six starts dating back to May 2008. He concluded his 2009 campaign finishing third under high-priced optional claiming conditions in New York on Nov. 19.

Monday's card also includes an entry-level allowance race for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles. The race drew a field of six, including the undefeated Launch N Relaunch who was scratched at the gate from a one-mile allowance race 11 days earlier.