FASTNESS HEADS NOMINEES TO $700,000 SHOEMAKER BREEDERS' CUP
Evergreen's Farm's Fastness, who made a brilliant return to the races Sunday with a three-length victory in the $132,450 Inglewood Handicap, heads a list of 22 horses who remain eligible for the $700,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on Sunday, June 16. Sustaining payments to the Shoemaker, to be run at one mile on the turf course, were due Friday at a cost of $2,500. Trainer Jenine Sahadi, who has developed Fastness into one of the world's top middle-distance turf runners, said the gray came out of the Inglewood in excellent condition and added it's full speed ahead to the Shoemaker. In the Shoemaker, older horses carry 124 pounds and 3-year-olds carry 113. In the event of more than 14 entries, graded stakes winners will be preferred. Here are the horses whose sustaining nominations were met by Friday's deadline: Abre Alas, Atticus, Borodislew, Debutant Trick, Del Mar Dennis, Dove Hunt, Dumaani, Earl of Barking, Fastness, Gold And Steel, Joker, Kingdom Found, Mighty Forum, Nonproductiveasset, Petit Poucet, Romarin, Savinio, Score Quick, Tinners Way, Tychonic, Unusual Heat and Warning Glance. Note: Late nominations at $25,000 each may be made on or before Wednesday, June 5.
ALYROB STILL POSSIBLE FOR THE BELMONT
Four Star Stable's Alyrob remains a possible starter in the 128th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8, at Belmont Park. If he runs Alyrob in the Belmont, trainer Wally Dollase said he plans to ship the Alysheba colt to New York two weeks prior to the race and get in two long works over the Belmont strip. At Louisville, Alyrob rallied on the last turn but flattened out in the stretch and finished eighth. The colt came out of the race in nearly perfect condition, however, leading Dollase to suspect Alyrob simply got tired. "In the (Kentucky) Derby, I ran a short horse," Dollase said. "That won't happen again." If Alyrob doesn't go to New York, Dollase said the alternate plan is to run on turf in the $125,000-added Cinema Handicap (Gr. III), also on June 8.
SLEWS ROYAL SON OUT FOR HAT TRICK
Move over Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux, you might not be the only ones registering hat tricks these days. Not if trainer Barry Abrams has anything to say about it. In a move that was sure to make more conservative conditioners cringe, Abrams entered Let It Ride Stable's Slews Royal Son in Monday's $65,000-added Little Reb Stakes for 3-year-olds. For those of you keeping score, that's three races in 12 days, unorthodox for a standardbred let alone a thorughbred. The important thing, though, is that Slews Royal Son was thriving on the work. He won for a $40,000 tag on May 2 and then came back on May 9 to dust $62,500 claimers by six lengths. Monday's stakes, for 3-year-olds which have not won a winner's share of $50,000 in 1996, was also carded at seven furlongs. "I know my horses," Abrams said. "And I would never ask one of them to run if I didn't think he was up to it. It's not like I planned it this way . . . this is just the way that things came up (in the condition book)." Abrams, who claimed the son of Slew's Royalty for $32,000 on Dec. 31, has already shown a profit on the venture. The Cal-bred gelding has raced seven times for his new owners and has three wins, a second and a third with $89,700 in purses.
PREAKNESS STAKES SIMULCAST ON TAP SATURDAY
The 121st running of the Preakness Stakes, second jewel of the Triple Crown, will be simulcast Saturday along with five other races from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Here is saturday's schedule: $50,000 Sir Barton Stakes, 10:27 a.m.; $75,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap, 11:13 a.m.; $200,000 Pimlico Distaff Handicap, 12 p.m.; $200,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap, 12:50 p.m; First Live Race, 1:05 p.m.; $200,000 Early Times Dixie Handicap, 1:41 p.m; $500,000 Preakness Stakes, 2:31 p.m. Gates open at 9 a.m.
MATIARA TO TOTE HIGHWEIGHT IN SATURDAY'S WILSHIRE HANDICAP
Early probables for Saturday's 35th running of the Grade II Wilshire Handicap, to be decided at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course: Matiara, Kent Desormeaux, 120; Pharma, Corey Nakatani, 118; Didina, Eddie Delahoussaye, 116;Artica, Corey Black, 114, and Real Connection, Rene Douglas, 113. Possible: Se Souvenir, no rider, 113, and Dusty Girl, no rider, 111.
EIGHT CONFIRMED FOR SUNDAY'S THIRTY SLEWS HANDICAP
Early probables for the ninth running of the Thirty Slews to be decided at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf course: Cyrano Strome, Rene Douglas, 119; Boulderdash Bay, Chris McCarron, 118; Concept Win, Gary Stevens,118; Cominalittlehot, Corey Nakatani, 117; Daggett Peak, no rider, 115; Score Quick, no rider, 115; O'Martin, no rider, 115, and High Charger, Alex Solis, 115. Possible: Danjur, Eddie Delahoussaye, 117; Ski Dancer (f), Kent Desormeaux, 115, and Gundaghia, Martin Pedroza, 114.
FINISH LINES: Multiple stakes winners Nonproductiveasset and Dramatic Gold are among the runners expected to enter Friday's $70,000-added Sultry Song Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the main track . . . Trainer Bob Baffert is pointing venerable sprinter Letthebighossroll to the $65,000-added Fifty Six Ina Row on Friday, May 31 . . . Baffert was scheduled to be at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning to oversee Cavonnier's workout for Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico . . . Halo Sunshine, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, will remain in California and run in the $125,000-added Affirmed Handicap (Gr. III) on June 30 . . . Gary Stevens had the call aboard Ask Pete for his father, Ron Stevens, in Monday's Little Reb Stakes . . . Trainer Wally Dollase said Helmsman, runner-up in Sunday's Inglewood Handicap, emerged from the race in good order and will go back to dirt for the $250,000 Californian (Gr. I) on Sunday, June 2 . . .Didina drilled six furlongs Monday in 1:14 3/5 in a prep for Saturday's Wilshire Handicap . . . Trainer Ben Cecil worked Gold And Steel five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 in advance of Saturday's $200,000 Early Times Handicap at Pimlico . . . Cecil also said multiple graded stakes winner Celtic Arms is being freshened and will return to action at Del Mar . . . Del Mar Dennis, scheduled to try turf in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile, worked five furlongs on the main track in 1:01 1/5 for trainer Paco Gonzalez.
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