11/12/2009 12:00AM

Where Cup runners go to take one last shot


The dust has barely settled, the echoes still faint from Saturday's Breeders' Cup at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The racing scene has shifted to Hollywood Park, but that doesn't mean the ripples from the Breeders' Cup will not affect big races in the upcoming meet.

The lure of the Hollywood Park fall meet has been two-fold for the game's upper crust. For some, it indicates the ceremonial ending to the season. For others, it provides a bridge for potentially bigger and better things for the next year.

Last year, the Breeders' Cup had varying effects on the major events at Hollywood, such as the Turf Festival and the two big juvenile races in December,

Here's a look at what you can expect this time around.

Citation Handicap (Nov. 27) - Only one horse who chased Goldikova in last year's Mile, Whatsthescript, came back for the Citation, and he may have been over the top as the favorite, finishing sixth behind Hyperbaric.

The impact may be slight again this year. Whatsthescript tried Goldikova again in the Mile, but after sitting closer to the pace, he gave way to finish eighth. Trainer John Sadler didn't sound too thrilled about wheeling him back quickly for this.

Cowboy Cal, who went into the BC Mile off a super win in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile, was disappointing, chasing the pace and weakening to 10th, but trainer Todd Pletcher said he might take a swing at the Citation, regardless. There will be no Goldikova to worry about, the distance is not a problem, the pace scenario not as difficult, and he's run well at Hollywood, finishing second in last year's Hollywood Derby.

Matriarch (Nov. 28) - Last year's Matriarch had Breeders' Cup stamped all over it. The winner, Cocoa Beach, had run second to Zenyatta in the Ladies' Classic; runner-up Precious Kitten had run fourth to Goldikova in the Mile; and third-place finisher Visit had run fourth in the Filly and Mare Turf.

The influence this year may not be as strong. Filly and Mare Turf winner Midday is headed back to Europe, as is Mile winner Goldikova. Cocoa Beach is retired. Magical Fantasy, fourth in the Matriarch last year and fifth in the Filly and Mare Turf, is off to Kentucky to be sold at auction.

Trainer Bobby Frankel may still pump out a major player. While Ventura is off to the breeding shed and Proviso will probably be rested and prepared for a main-track campaign next year, Visit, coming off another fourth in the Filly and Mare Turf, could give this race another go.

Hollywood Derby (Nov. 29) - The major players in the 3-year-old turf ranks - Take the Points, Battle of Hastings, The Usual Q.T., Straight Story, and Black Bear Island - did not run in the Breeders' Cup and figure to be the main combatants in the Hollywood Derby. Things changed after the BC Mile, in which Courageous Cat did himself proud by finishing second, looking as if he might win in midstretch until Goldikova came storming by. Courageous Cat has knocked heads with some of the aforementioned top 3-year-olds, and should he opt for a derby try, he'd be quite scary.

CashCall Futurity (Dec. 19) - Only two runners entered the CashCall Futurity off the Juvenile last year. Pioneerof the Nile had finished fifth behind Midshipman in the Juvenile but started his roll of graded stakes successes with a rallying Futurity victory. He went on to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and was second to Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. Azul Leon ran ninth in the Juvenile and fifth in the Futurity.

Trainer Bob Baffert conditioned Pioneerof the Nile and has a logical candidate again here in Lookin at Lucky, who may still earn the 2-year-old title after running so well in finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. But Lookin at Lucky had a busy summer and fall, and the Juvenile was a grueling race, so he may well be done for the season. Baffert did say he intended to breeze Lookin at Lucky a couple of weeks after the Breeders' Cup and evaluate his condition.

Like last year, the number of runners moving from Juvenile to Futurity may be small. A couple of non-Southern Californians may hang around for the race: Noble's Promise, third in the Juvenile, and Eskendereya, who was ninth.

Pulsion ran 11th in the Juvenile and is based in Southern California, so he may take a shot.

Hollywood Starlet (Dec. 20) - Stardom Bound romped to victory and a championship in last year's BC Juvenile fillies, and only two of the girls she vanquished came back for the Hollywood Starlet. Dave's Revenge rallied for fourth in the Juvenile Fillies and was fifth in the Starlet. Black Magic Mama ran eighth in the Juvenile Fillies and finished last of seven in the Starlet.

Last year's Starlet winner, Laragh, did come from the BC, albeit a different BC race. After setting the pace and finishing third in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, she made the switch to synthetic at Hollywood and won.

This year, there may be a more traditional impact on the Starlet. She Be Wild, this year's Juvenile Fillies winner, is returning to her Midwest home base, but runner-up Beautician will reportedly stay put as trainer Ken McPeek leaves a small string in Southern California for the first time. Blind Luck, who ran third, is stabled in Southern California, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said the Starlet is a distinct possibility.