06/02/2009 11:00PM

Will it be O'Neill, or O'Neill?


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Doug O'Neill is likely to win the $70,000 Willard Proctor Stakes for 2-year-olds Thursday at Hollywood Park, but if he prefers one of his two starters over the other he is not saying.


Track N Attack and Classical Slew scored impressive debut victories for O'Neill, who already has won six 2-year-old maiden races this meet. Both colts figure prominently Thursday when they stretch from 4 1/2 furlongs to 5 1/2 furlongs.

So which does O'Neill like better - Track N Attack or Classical Slew?

"They're both nice horses, they're both doing really well, and I'm excited about both of them," he said.

Bettors are likely to back the speed of the speed. Track N Attack set the fastest fractions of the meet by a 2-year-old male May 7, winning by nearly three lengths with something left. O'Neill admits Track N Attack "is probably more speedy" than Classical Slew.

Track N Attack drew the outside post in the field of seven, while Classical Slew is stuck on the rail. Classical Slew won his May 13 debut racing gate to wire, but O'Neill said, "I don't think he's a one-dimensional colt; I think he's more tractable, he's more versatile."

Classical Slew and Track N Attack each blew out three furlongs Monday. Classical Slew recorded the fastest work of the morning in a sizzling 34.80, and though O'Neill said he envisions Classical Slew racing just off the pace, "the game plan is to break running."

"We're not going to change his style," he said.

Track N Attack was given a 36.20 clocking for his workout; O'Neill had him faster by nearly one second. Michael Baze rides Classical Slew; Joel Rosario fills in for Rafael Bejarano on Track N Attack.

The Proctor is the first 2009 stakes for Southern California-based 2-year-olds. Three of the last seven winners previously had earned Beyer Figures in the 80s. That broad parameter suggests Track N Attack (81) and Classical Slew (80) are the most-qualified entrants Thursday; none of the other Proctor entrants has earned higher than a 71.

Coo Cachoo, however, did not receive a figure his only start, a quarter-mile maiden win April 2. Since then, Coo Cachoo has trained very well and will impact the pace.

The field also includes the Walther Solis-trained entry of Grace Upon Grace and Turbo Time; speedster Ritzville; second-start maiden Eze Does it; and firster Zip Quik.