10/20/2005 11:00PM

Wilko has first work back

Email
Horsephotos
Wilko is being pointed for the Strub series.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Wilko, the winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Lone Star Park, breezed three furlongs in 38.60 seconds at Hollywood Park on Friday, his first workout since undergoing ankle surgery in May.

Wilko is being pointed for the three-race Strub series for 4-year-olds of 2006, trainer Craig Dollase said. The first leg of that series is the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes over seven furlongs on Dec. 26.

"Actually, he's a little ahead of schedule," Dollase said. "He's doing well. It was an easy three-eighths work. He's been wanting to work."

Wilko has not started since finishing 12th in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in May. Owned by Paul Reddam and Susan Roy, Wilko has won 3 of 16 starts and $1,039,074. The BC Juvenile is Wilko's only win in six starts in the U.S. He was third in the Hollywood Futurity and Santa Anita Derby and sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Through that time, Wilko battled tender feet, including quarter cracks. Dollase said Wilko's feet have greatly improved in recent months.

"He has a brand new set of wheels," he said. "We could let his feet grow. We have a bright new shiny penny."

Valenzuela will meet with stewards

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has not ridden since Sunday because of a tendon injury in a foot, and his attorney Neil Papiano are scheduled to meet with Santa Anita stewards John Herbuveaux, Kim Sawyer, and George Slender on Saturday.

Valenzuela may have violated his conditional license Wednesday, when he failed to inform stewards that he would not be able to ride. Valenzuela's agent, Ron Ebanks, did not phone the stewards, either.

Ebanks on Thursday stressed that there was "a misunderstanding" and that he should have called the stewards.

Valenzuela could face a fine or a suspension for the violation of his conditional license.

Valenzuela rides under a conditional license after several interruptions in his career because of substance abuse problems. One aspect of the license requires Valenzuela to undergo random drug testing.

Denman gets own bobble-head doll

When Trevor Denman was first approached about being the subject of a bobble-head doll, he was hesitant.

"When you hear the proposal, your first reaction is bewilderment," he said. "I thought, 'I don't want to do it.' But my wife reminded me it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Denman fans, of which there are many, can thank Robin Denman for urging her husband to approve the promotion, which will be held here Sunday.

In recent years, racetracks have promoted bobble-head dolls for jockeys, trainers, and horses. Who can get forget the bobble-head doll of trainer Bob Baffert wearing blue jeans that was given away at Hollywood Park a few years ago?

In the end, Denman says he is flattered.

"There is no Hall of Fame for announcers," he said. "We'll take any accolades that we can get. It gives you some standing in the sport. It's very flattering and a pat on the back for all announcers."

The Denman doll features five of the announcer's signature calls, such as "And away they go" when a button is pressed.

Sunday's promotion is being offered only to members of Santa Anita's Thoroughbreds, a program for frequent customers. For people not enrolled in Thoroughbreds, the track says that people can sign up for the program on Sunday and receive a bobble-head, while supplies last.

Denman said he approves of his likeness, but did have his reservations wondering how it would turn out.

"You hold your breath," he said. "You could come out looking like an alien. They're really well done."

Freakin Streakin to run in Pine Tree Lane

Freakin Streakin, who placed in two stakes at Del Mar, is one of five fillies and mares entered in Sunday's $65,000 Pine Tree Lane Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs.

Owned by Mercedes Stable and trained by Julio Canani, Freakin Streakin was second in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap and third in the CERF Handicap during Del Mar. She won an optional claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs there in early August.

The Pine Tree Lane is restricted to nonwinners of a first-place purse in a stakes worth $50,000 since June 15. Races restricted to statebreds are not included in that condition, allowing the entry of Soldier's Kiss, who won the $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for statebreds at Del Mar in July.

Trained by Bruce Headley, Soldier's Kiss finished third in the Torrey Pines Stakes over a mile on Sept. 2, a loss that ended a four-race winning streak.

Other starters are Awesome Lady, Resplendency, and Rinky Dink. Resplendency won the Monrovia Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs here last December.

Sherlock to train again after 10 years

Gary Sherlock, 59, will resume training after a 10-year absence next year, he said on Thursday.

In the last decade, Sherlock has been in the equine insurance business. Earlier this year, he acquired 12 yearlings in Kentucky, which will form the bulk of a stable that will open at Hollywood Park.

Sherlock previously trained Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos and Thoroughbreds in Southern California.

Sherlock claimed Charade Event for $16,000 on Thursday.