07/09/2009 12:00AM

Time running short for Golden Doc A


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Time is running out in the racing career of Golden Doc A.

After a successful 3-year-old campaign in 2008, highlighted by a win in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita, Golden Doc A is winless in her last 11 starts and has not finished in the first three this year.


Golden Doc A's appearance in Thursday's seventh race at Hollywood Park, a $58,000 allowance race for fillies and mares over a mile on turf, will help determine whether she stays in training or is retired.

"She'll be retired after this year," trainer Barry Abrams said. "If she doesn't come first, second, or third in her next two races, she'll be retired sooner than that. I'm a little disappointed."

Owned by Ron McCauley, Golden Doc A has won 3 of 21 starts and $514,820. She was fourth behind Zardana in an allowance race on turf here May 31, her best finish of the year.

"I don't know what to make of her," Abrams said. "Mentally, she's great. Physically, she's great, but she hasn't gotten any better as an older horse. Last time on the turf was more encouraging."

Golden Doc A is seeking her first top-three finish since a second in the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in April 2008. She has been most effective racing off the pace, and such a strategy could work Thursday.

The field of six includes Bootleg Annie and Forest Melody, who have raced on or near the lead in recent starts, and Bahama Mama, a turf sprint stakes winner last year.

Bootleg Annie won the Fran's Valentine Stakes for statebred females here over 1 1/16 miles on turf April 25 and was sixth in the Redondo Beach Stakes over a mile on turf on June 6. Trainer Kathy Walsh was not discouraged by the loss, considering that race winner Tuscan Evening, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is scheduled to start in Saturday's $250,000 Royal Heroine Stakes.

"It was a tough group of horses," Walsh said. "That filly of Hollendorfer's looks like one of the best in the nation."

Abrams also entered Lethal Heat, but said Tuesday that she may be held out of Thursday's race in favor of a sprint. A four-time stakes winner, Lethal Heat has not started since finishing third in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap at Santa Anita in January.