Friday, June 14, 1996

By Vince Bruun

Burt Bacharach's Soul Of The Matter and Rio Claro Thoroughbreds' Siphon both drilled on the main track Friday morning in preparation for the $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup on Sunday, June 30.

The Richard Mandella-trained runners worked together, Soul Of The Matter going seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5 under Jon Turner and Siphon one mile in 1:36 1/5 under Mark Blanc. As a team, clocker Gary Nelson timed them in :36 2/5 for three furlongs and 1:00 2/5 for five furlongs. Soul Of The Matter galloped out a mile in 1:37 1/5.

"They both worked very well," Mandella said. "I'm very pleased with them." Mandella said Soul Of The Matter will work a mile next week with Corey Nakatani in the saddle.

In other developments: La Presle Farm's Dare And Go, yet another Gold Cup candidate from the Mandella barn, emerged from Thursday's one-mile turf work (1:42 2/5) in good order and continues to be listed as "possible" for the race by the trainer. "I'm going to let Dare And Go tell me what to do," Mandella said. The trainer said the ankle problem that has hampered Dare And Go's training is under control but remains "day-to-day." Another possibility for Dare And Go is the $125,000-added American Handicap (Gr. II) on Thursday, July 4.

At Santa Anita, meanwhile, Big 'Cap runner-up Luthier Fever worked seven furlongs in 1:27, handily, for trainer Ted West.

Probables for the 57th running of the Hollywood Gold Cup, 1 1/4 miles on the main track, second leg in the MGM Grand Classic Crown: Helmsman, Chris McCarron; Mr Purple,* no rider; Siphon, David Flores; Soul Of The Matter, Corey Nakatani; Tinners Way, Eddie Delahoussaye, and Geri, Jerry Bailey.

Possible: Luthier Fever, Brice Blanc; Dare And Go, no rider; Key Of Luck,** no rider, and Tejano Run, no rider


* Eligible for the $2-million MGM Grand Classic Crown bonus.
** Must be supplemented at $25,000 before June 19.

By the time Twice The Vice loads into the starting gate for the Grade I Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sunday, June 23, it will have been over two months since we last saw her in action. On that occaion, of course, she upset Serena's Song in the Grade I Apple Blosson Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

She hasn't raced since, but that's by plan. Ron Ellis is determined to keep Twice The Vice fresh and willing throughout an ambitious campaign, and he has kept to the schedule he hopes will culminate with a victory in the $1-million Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 26.

"She hasn't raced, but she's been in steady training," Ellis said. "I think she's had eight or nine works since the Apple Blossom. She's trained well and she's always run well fresh." Twice The Vice, who has Grade I victories on dirt and turf, is one of several top-notch distaffers campaigning for Ellis and owners Martin and Pam Wygod. The goal for Twice The Vice is to win an Eclipse Award, and Ellis will have several options on the road to the Breeders' Cup. After the Milady, the next stop will probably be the Grade I Vanity Handicap on July 21. Then, assuming all goes well, Ellis would give the Oct. 6 Beldame (Gr. I) at Belmont Park a long look as the final Breeders' Cup prep. "The time she's had between races has probably helped her," Ellis said. "I want to keep her fresh the whole year. And weight is another consideration. If you pile up too many wins early in the year, your horse will have to carry weight."

In her latest work, Twice The Vice drilled seven furlongs Thursday in 1:28 1/5 on a fast main track.

Confirmed for the 45th running of the Milady Handicap, 1 1/16 miles on the main track (weights, Sunday, June 16): Borodislew, Eddie Delahoussaye; Jewel Princess, Corey Nakatani; Radu Cool, no rider; Twice The Vice, Chris McCarron, and Urbane, Alex Solis.

Sunday's card will feature a pair of simulcasts from the East Coast. In addition to the 10 live races, wagering will be offered on:

The Penn National Distaff Handicap from Penn National in Philadelphia ($100,000-added, fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles, turf), post time 1:15 p.m.

The $100,000-added Hill Prince Stakes from Belmont Park in New York, (Grade III, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, turf), post time 2 p.m.

Charles Cella's Northern Spur and Sierra Thorughbreds' Sandpit have been made co-highweights at 122 pounds for the $500,000 Caesars International Handicap (Gr. I) at Atlantic City Race Course on Saturday, June 22. Atlantic City Director of Racing Edward W. Vomacka weighted 49 horses for the 1 3/16-mile grass race, which will be simulcast at Hollywood Park and televised nationally on ESPN from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The Caesars International Handicap is the first of a two-race series that concludes with the $700,000 Caesars Palace Turf Championsip (Gr. II) July 21 at Hollywood Park. A sweep of the Caesars races is worth a $280,000 bonus.

Sandpit swept last year's series. Weights for the Caesars International Handicap: Northern Spur, 122; Sandpit, 122; Labeeb, 118; Awad, 117; Dare And Go, 117; Diplomatic Jet, 117; Gold And Steel, 117; Lassigny, 117; Mecke, 117; Celtic Arms, 116; Da Hoss, 116; Flag Down, 116; Kiri's Clown, 116; Perfect, 116; Tychonic, 116; Broadway Flyer, 115; Flitch, 115; Special Price, 115; Time Star, 115; Earl Of Barking, 114; Eltish, 114; Petit Poucet, 114; Shrewd Idea, 114; Tejano Run, 114; Angel In My Heart, 113; Claudius, 113; Dernier Empereur, 113; Kazabaiyn, 113; Wandesta, 113; Chilly Billy, 112; Joker, 112; The Key Rainbow, 112; Unusual Heat, 112; Vladivostok, 112; Winged Victory, 112; Dumaani, 111; Expelled, 111; Ops Smile, 111; Sentimental Moi, 111; Torch Rouge, 111; Darnay, 110; Didina, 110; Felon, 110; Malthus, 110; Pana Brass, 110; Polaris Star, 109; Vaguely Gay, 109; Rough Opening, 107 and Natural Selection, 106. (Declared: Vaudeville and Vilmorin).

FINISH LINES: Comininalittlehot will make his next start in the $200,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (Gr. III) on Saturday, June 30, trainer Mike Mitchell said. Mitchell also reported the claimer Bear To Be Krafty, who won his seventh straight race on May 23, is being given a respite. "He isn't a very big horse, and he's run a lot of races," Mitchell said . . . Talloires, who suffered a splint injury in February, worked four furlongs in :51 4/5 on the turf Thursday and is about a month away from race-ready, trainer Richard Mandella said. Talloires won two of 11 starts and $591,330 last year, including second-place finishes in the the Grande Premio Brasil and the Hollywood Turf Cup . . . Cat's Cradle is nominated to the Milady Breeders' Cup, but will pass, according to trainer David Hofmans. "The Milady looks like it might be too tough," Hofmans said. "But there are a couple of other races we'll look at." . . . When Barry Abrams sends out Unusual Heat in Sunday's $700,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Handicap, it will mark the 42-year-old trainer's biggest start as a thoroughbred conditioner. But Abrams, a former trainer of standardbreds, said he participated in a bigger race while in the sulkey sport. "Guts was the 4-5 favorite in the 1984 Meadowlands Pace, and he finished second by a nose," Abrams said. "I can still remember it like it was yesterday." . . . Former trainer Gary Jones celebrates his 52nd birthday Sunday . . . Laffit Pincay Jr. will travel to Penn National to ride Rejoyced for trainer Barclay Tagg in Sunday's $100,000-added Penn National Handicap.

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