03/21/2007 11:00PM

Will Prospect Park find past glory?


ARCADIA, Calif. - A horse that was favored in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was second by a head in the French Derby, and was a three-time stakes winner in Europe starts in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap at Santa Anita - and might be a longshot.

Prospect Park's achievements occurred in 2004 and 2005, a long time ago in racing. Since arriving in the United States in the fall of 2005, Prospect Park has made just one start, finishing fifth in an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles on turf on March 3.

Trainer Richard Mandella is hoping that Prospect Park can still develop into an important stakes horse. The next opportunity occurs in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey over 1 1/2 miles on turf, with Corey Nakatani aboard.

"He was disappointing" in his comeback, Mandella said. "A mile and a half will be a steadier pace for him and it should suit him better."

Prospect Park has not won since the Group 3 La Coupe de Masons-Laffitte in France in September 2005. Second in the 2004 French Derby, he was 16th as the favorite in the Arc that year.

Owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Prospect Park has been plagued by minor injuries since joining Mandella's stable.

"There are a lot of things that have gotten in his way," Mandella said. "When he trains, he trains okay, but he's not one to show off. He breezed better after his last race than he did before, so I'm hoping that blew out the cobwebs. He's in good shape."P

Big Cap pair eye Oaklawn Cap

Molengao and Boboman, who finished second and third in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3, are being considered for the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 7.

Trainer Paulo Lobo said that Molengao may instead start in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on May 5. He is expected to decide next week.

Boboman was nominated for the San Luis Rey, but Mandella wants to keep him on the dirt. The Big Cap was Boboman's first start on dirt, and Mandella is hoping the 6-year-old horse can win on dirt to enhance his value.

"He ran good on the dirt, and there's a little more value in doing something like that for him if he can do it," Mandella said. "The way he ran the other day, he might can do it."

Another Big Cap runner, El Roblar, who finished seventh, is switching surfaces. He will start in the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap over a mile on turf on April 7, Mandella said.

Thursday at Hollywood Park, El Roblar worked six furlongs in 1:13.60.

Track fined for program oversight

The board of stewards at Santa Anita fined Santa Anita racetrack $300 on Wednesday for failing to note that Our Partner raced as a gelding for the first time in the eighth race on Feb. 15.

Our Partner won the one-mile race for maiden claimers, returning $5. According to steward Scott Chaney, trainer Jeff Mullins noted that Our Partner was a first-time gelding when the entry was submitted but the information was not presented in the track program.

The Santa Anita stewards - Chaney, Albert Christiansen and Tom Ward - are employed by the California Horse Racing Board and not the racetrack.

In recent months, the CHRB has begun fining trainers who fail to indicate their starters are making their first starts as geldings.

Amescua fined for 2005 positive

Trainer Rene Amescua has been fined $1,500 and owner John McGary has been ordered to forfeit $2,600 in purses after At a Boy Luther, their starter in the fourth race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 1, 2005, was found to have the presence of scopolamine in a post-race urine test.

At a Boy Luther finished second in a sprint for $10,000 claimers with a $13,000 purse.

According to a stipulated agreement between Amescua and the California Horse Racing Board, the trainer's fine been stayed if Amescua does not have an additional violation of medications in classes 1, 2, or 3 for one year. In addition, Amescua has been placed on probation.

Scopolamine is classified as a Class 3 drug.

The purse money for second through fifth place has been ordered redistributed to the owners of Valid Again, Hot Contest, Master Perfect, and Lady's Memo.

Seventeenth time is the charm

King Palm is a maiden no more.

After losing his first 16 starts, including 11 second-place finishes, King Palm won a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles in Thursday's third race.

Owned by the Maloof brothers, who own the Palms Casino in Las Vegas and the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, and trained by Vladimir Cerin, King Palm finished a half-length in front of 5-1 Telepathic in the field of six older horses.

A 6-year-old, King Palm finished second in nine consecutive races from 2004 until last August. King Palm was second in his penultimate start on Feb. 19. He has earned $142,200.