SOUL OF THE MATTER HEADED STRAIGHT TO HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP
Burt Bacharach's Soul Of The Matter will skip the $250,000-added Californian (Gr. I) on June 2 and will go straight into the $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup (Gr. I) on June 30, trainer Richard Mandella said.
Soul Of The Matter, ranked No. 4 in the latest Daily Racing Form poll, hasn't raced since finishing second to Cigar in the Dubai World Cup on March 27.
The Gold Cup is expected to feature a rematch between Soul Of The Matter and Horse of the Year Cigar, whose winning streak stands at 14 going into the $250,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on June 1.
Mandella said he does plan to run Rio Claro Thoroughbreds' Siphon in the Californian. Siphon has strung together three straight wins including a triumph in last Saturday's Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap.
BLANC TRIPLES THE HARD WAY
Don't look now, but apprentice Brice Blanc has forged to the top of the heap in the jockey standings. The 23-year-old Frenchman tripled Wednesday and had won with 10 of 63 mounts, good for a .158 win percentage and a two-win lead over Eddie Delahoussaye in the standings.
Blanc's triple was earned the hard way. While galloping out Candelotto, the 21-1 upsetter in the ninth race, the 3-year-old colt suddenly ducked out, pitching a startled Blanc to the dirt. Fortunately, neither rider nor horse were injured.
"I thought maybe (Candelotto) had broken down, but they told me he was allright," Blanc said. "I guess he must have spooked from something. It shows you've got to be ready for anything at all times."
Blanc, 23, completes his apprenticeship on May 20.
FIELD OF SIX PROBABLE FOR SUNDAY'S INGLEWOOD HANDICAP
A field of six older handicap stars headlined by multiple stakes winners Fastness, Tychonic and Helmsman appeared probable for Sunday's $125,000-added Inglewood Handicap on the turf.
The Grade III Inglewood is a steppingstone to the $700,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. II) on Sunday, June 16.
Probables for the 56th running of the Inglewood Handicap, to be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf: Fastness, Corey Nakatani, 122; Helmsman, Chris McCarron, 120; Tychonic, Gary Stevens, 120; Dernier Empereur, Eddie Delahoussaye, 117; College Town, Rene Douglas, 113, and Lord Shirldor, Brice Blanc, 110.
MATIARA RETURNS IN WILSHIRE HANDICAP
Alec Head's Matiara worked one mile Thursday in 1:38 1/5, handily, on a fast main track and trainer Richard Mandella said the daughter of Bering will run in the $125,000-added Wilshire Handicap on Saturday, May 18.
Matiara captured the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on March 2, but was victimized by a slow pace in her most recent start, the Grade I Santa Ana Handicap on March 23, and wound up third behind Pharma and Angel In My Heart.
Kent Desormeaux, who rode Eclipse Award-winner Possibly Perfect to victory in last year's Wilshire, will fill in for Gary Stevens aboard Matiara. Stevens is scheduled to be in Baltimore for the Preakness on the 18th and will ride either Editor's Note or Prince of Thieves for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Pharma will also have a new rider in the Wilshire. Corey Nakatani will take over for Chris McCarron, who will also be at the Preakness to rider Kentucky Derby runner-up Cavonnier.
Early probables for the 35th running of the Grade II Wilshire, to be decided at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course: Didina, Eddie Delahoussaye; Matiara, Kent Desormeaux; Pharma, Corey Nakatani, and Real Connection, no rider.
UNBEATEN DANJUR TO MAKE WEST COAST DEBUT IN THIRTY SLEWS
Aaron U. Jones' undefeated Danjur will put his record on the line in the $100,000- added Thirty Slews Handicap on Sunday, May 19, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
Danjur, a 4-year-old Dayjur colt out of the Breeders' Cup champion Epitome, rallied for a two-length victory in last Friday's Churchill Downs Turf Sprint at five furlongs. His winning time of :56 flat was a course record.
Overall, Danjur has three wins in three starts. He began his career last fall at Belmont Park with easy victories on dirt in a maiden special weight and a non-winners of one allowance race.
In last year's Thirty Slews (formerly known as the Hollywood Park Budweiser Breeders' Cup), Darley Stud Management's Pembroke set a world record of 1:00 2/5 for 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.
Early probables for the ninth running of the Thirty Slews to be decided at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf course: Boulderdash Bay, no rider; Cominalittlehot, no rider; Cyrano Storme, Rene Douglas; Danjur, Eddie Delahoussaye, and Score Quick, no rider.
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