06/09/2010 11:00PM

Two-year-old speed severely lacking


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The handicapping notebook is full again, with stuff like this:

* The Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Wednesday at Hollywood Park was the lowest-rated Cinderella since publication of Beyer Figures. She'll Heir won the 5 1/2-furlong race in 1:05.46, earning an abysmal 60 Beyer. On the bright side, She'll Heir was tons best. She was buried in traffic, waited for room, exploded late, and won by a deceptive length. Want to bet her back? Didn't think so.

* Actually, the entire 2-year-old division this year is slow. Only two juveniles, J P's Gusto and Belleofthebridle, have earned Beyer Figures of 80 or more at Hollywood. At this time last year, nine juveniles already had topped 80.

* What are the long-term ramifications of the Cinderella? The 2000 running was won by Golden Ballet, who won the Santa Anita Oaks the following year and as a broodmare produced Belmont winner Drosselmeyer.

* It has only been six weeks, but does anyone remember who won the Kentucky Derby?

* There is always talk of tweaking the Triple Crown. Maybe it will move to California, where every so often I pick an occasional winner. This year's personal handicapping scoreboard was dreadful -- sixth in the Derby (Lookin At Lucky), eighth in the Preakness (Super Saver), and ninth in the Belmont (Ice Box). Real creative picks, huh?

* I won't be fooled again. No, no, no. The next time Drosselmeyer runs 1 1/2 miles at Belmont, I will be all over him.

* Speaking of the Belmont Stakes, here's hoping ABC next year goes to an overhead pan shot as the horses break from the gate. Those artsy ground-level shots show absolutely nothing.

* Summer Bird's first crop hits the track in 2014. Maybe by then, the synthetic experiment will be history. Before his debut, Summer Bird, the 2009 Belmont winner, trained so poorly on synthetics in California that he was shipped out. He raced only once on synthetic, finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. That was his final start. The point is, Summer Bird was a dirt horse. Wonder if his offspring will be dirt horses, too.

* Key-race alert: The Railbird Stakes on May 9 at Hollywood produced a slew of big next-out efforts. Railbird winner Tanda was tons best finishing third in the Acorn, runner-up Switch won the Hollywood Oaks, third-place All Due Respect won an allowance by more than 10, and sixth-place Southern Fireball won a turf stakes by disqualification. These have yet to run back: Crisis of Spirit, Seriously, Church Camp, and Win for M'lou.

* The win by Switch in the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Oaks makes it five of the last six Oaks winners who were stretching out from sprints. File it away for next year.

* It has been a fun spring for trainer Steve Knapp; his sixth win Wednesday (Terrify, $21.80) moved him to ninth in the standings. But the family highlight was June 4, when the Ayala (Chino Hills) high school softball team, with sophomore daughter Stevie Knapp, scored a 5-4 victory in the championship game of the Division III CIF Southern Section. Knapp walked, stole a base, scored, and ended the season with a .272 batting average. It was a good season for Knapp, who has two remaining years of high school eligibility.

* The answer is 14 pounds. The question: How much weight has personable HRTV host Peter Lurie lost? How has he done it? Weight Watchers.

* Hollywood parking lot informants say Oak Tree officials recently have been driving cross town, from Arcadia to Inglewood, working out logistics for this fall. A downside to the move is that navigating Southern California freeways is not much fun on weekdays.

* There is a bright side to "Oak Tree at Hollywood Park." The meet would be conducted on the main track handicappers agree is the most consistent and "fair" synthetic surface on the circuit. But will the grass course hold up for a combined autumn meet that would last nearly three months? That is another issue entirely.

* Bobby Frankel is missed for many reasons, many were discreet. As an observer noted, Frankel could always reach Frank Stronach by telephone to offer the eccentric owner a voice of reason. Frankel's influence would have helped this season as Stronach toughens his stance while seeking to realign the California racing calendar.

* Nine days after Rachel Alexandra won her fourth Grade 1 of 2009 in the Haskell, Made for Magic was claimed for $16,000 at Golden Gate Fields. Rachel Alexandra and Made for Magic meet Saturday at Churchill Downs. Who do you like?

* In a recent conversation about California jockeys, a handicapper made this simple statement about Martin Garcia: "He thinks he is going to win every race he rides."

* Before the sixth race June 6, trainer Walther Solis told jockey Christian Santiago-Reyes that if he did not follow instructions, he would not ride Siete Machos again. Solis wanted to use the horse's speed in the turf route. Reyes asked Siete Machos for his life leaving the gate, set a fast pace (1:10.36), and wired the field at $24.80.

* Evening Jewel is vulnerable at 1 1/4 miles in the American Oaks on July 3. Now there is talk she may skip the Oaks and run July 25 in the one-mile San Clemente at Del Mar. So does that make Cozi Rosie a cinch in the American Oaks? Yes, pretty much.

* It would be crazy to suggest Rail Trip will lose the Californian on Saturday at Hollywood. However, it appears front-runner Tres Borrachos is not as quick as he once was. If that is true, One Track Mind is the lone speed. Still think Rail Trip will run him down, but who knows?