04/14/2008 11:00PM

Yankee Bravo targeting Preakness

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - A lack of graded stakes earnings will keep Yankee Bravo out of the Kentucky Derby, but he remains a candidate for the $1 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 17, trainer Paddy Gallagher said this week.

Yankee Bravo finished fourth behind Colonel John in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 5, a loss that essentially ended his chances for a Kentucky Derby start. Yankee Bravo has earned $105,000 in graded stakes, which leaves him well shy of a guaranteed berth.

When the Kentucky Derby draws more than 20 entries, the field is limited to the top 20 in money earned in graded stakes.

"I think with the earnings, we may wait and look at the Preakness," Gallagher said.

Yankee Bravo has won 3 of 5 starts and $247,049, including the Eddie Logan Stakes on turf in his U.S. debut in December and the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields in January. In his graded stakes debut, Yankee Bravo was third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

Sent off at 9-2 in the Santa Anita Derby, Yankee Bravo closed from ninth to finish fourth, four lengths behind Colonel John.

Gallagher said that Yankee Bravo is being given a slight break before resuming serious training in advance of the build-up to the Preakness.

"It will do him no harm," he said. "He keeps himself pretty fit. We can freshen him up a little bit. We've got options, even grass later on."

Plans for El Gato Malo are undecided

Springtime plans for El Gato Malo, fifth in the Santa Anita Derby, have not been finalized, trainer Craig Dollase said. Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, El Gato Malo won the Grade 3 San Rafael Stakes in January and was second to Colonel John in the Sham Stakes in March.

El Gato Malo does not have sufficient graded stakes earnings to draw into the Derby field, and Dollase stopped short of saying that he had an alternative plan, such as the Preakness. "We're still taking a wait-and-see approach," he said.

Street Boss getting good at good time

Street Boss will make his stakes debut in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 10 after winning his third race of the year in Monday's seventh race at Santa Anita.

Street Boss ($5.80) rallied from seventh in a field of eight to win the optional claimer over 6o1/2 furlongs by 1 1/4 lengths over 8-5 favorite Tropic Storm. Street Boss was timed in 1:13.83.

Jockey Alex Solis said he was not concerned that Street Boss was well off the pace through the first half-mile, when Tontine Too and Silver Stetson Man set an early pace of 21.74 and 44.28 seconds. "They were going fast and he was breezing," Solis said.

Owned by Bluegate Corp., Marsha Naify and trainer Bruce Headley, Street Boss, 4, has won 4 of 8 starts and $155,500.

"He's getting good at the right time," Headley said. "I'm getting my seasoning races in. He acted like a pro today."

Trainer pained by Bahama Mama's DQ

On Monday, a day after Bahama Mama was disqualified from first to fourth in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap, the situation remained a source of aggravation for trainer Jim Cassidy.

Bahama Mama led throughout the Las Cienegas Handicap on the hillside turf course, but drifted to the outside when the field crossed over the dirt onto the main track. The stewards ruled that Bahama Mama bothered Lightmyfirebaby and Super Freaky, the original second- and fourth-place finishers. Bahama Mama was disqualified and placed fourth, behind Super Freaky.

"The more I looked at the replay, the less severe it looked," Cassidy said.

Cassidy was not alone with his feelings. After the disqualification was announced, jockey David Flores, standing on the racetrack, feigned like he was going to spike his helmet.

Cassidy and Flores will have a chance for redemption soon. Cassidy said that Bahama Mama, who is owned by Forging Oaks Farm, is being pointed for the restricted $62,000 Lawndale Stakes over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on May 9.

Lightmyfirebaby, who was making her sixth start of the year, and second start of April, will not be away from the races for very long. Trainer Barry Abrams said she will be considered for the $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park on April 27.

Supah Blitz third after 3-year layoff

Supah Blitz ended a three-year layoff with a third-place finish in a $32,000 claimer on Sunday, and was claimed out of the race by owner Les Blake and trainer Jeff Mullins.

An 8-year-old, Supah Blitz has won 8 of 39 starts and $1,323,530. He was at stud in Florida in 2006 and in California 2007 before resuming training. In 2006, the most recent statistics available, Supah Blitz was bred to 31 mares, according to the Jockey Club. In 2007, he stood at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in California.

Supah Blitz raced for Kagele Brothers and trainer Doug O'Neill when he was claimed on Sunday. Asked about the claim, Mullins said, "The owner said to claim him."

Two major races this weekend

The winter-spring meeting ends on Sunday, and the weekend features two of the most prestigious turf races of the season - Saturday's $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles and Sunday's $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at about 1 3/4 miles.

Shamdinan, second to English Channel in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Monmouth Park last October, is the 118-pound highweight in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano.

Owned by Triple B Farms, Shamdinan has made one start this year, finishing ninth in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 23 when trained by Angel Penna Jr. Shamdinan was sent to O'Neill in early March. O'Neill trained Shamdinan last summer when he won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in his U.S. debut.

Other probable starters for the San Juan Capistrano are: defending champion On the Acorn, Big Booster, Fitz Flag, Porfido, and Warning Zone.

The probable starters for the Santa Barbara are Double Trouble, Forest Melody, Foxysox, I Can See, Immortelle, Lake Marina, Lavender Sky, Lemonette, and Solva.

Services for Palmer Knapp

Funeral Services were held on Saturday for owner Palmer Knapp, the father of trainer Steve Knapp.

Palmer Knapp, who lived in Meridian, Idaho, died on April 8 at the age of 72 because of heart complications, Steve Knapp said.

Palmer Knapp was a co-owner of Icantgoforthat, a winner of 7 of 35 starts, $472,484 and three stakes. Icantgoforthat was trained by Steve Knapp.

Knapp, 51, the leading trainer at the 2005 Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, said that his father was influential in developing his interest in racing.

"The reason I'm a trainer is because I used to come to the track with my dad when I was a little kid," he said.