Wednesday, July 3, 1996

By Mark Midland

When Romarin and Chris McCarron took a 3 1/2-length lead into the stretch in the $700,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. II), it appeared as if the duo might be home free.

"I thought he had it won at the eighth pole," trainer Richard Mandella said. "(Fastness) put in one hell of a run."

Romarin earned plenty of respect for the effort, and will go to post as the 120 highweight in Thursday's $100,000 American Handicap (Gr.II).

"That was probably the best race he ever ran," said Mandella, who saddled Siphon to victory in Sunday's $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup.

Fortunately, McCarron won't be having to look over his shoulder for Fastness in the American.

"No, but we do have to look out for Labeeb," said Mandella of the 1995 Hollywood Derby (Gr. I) winner who hails from the Neil Drysdale barn. "He's as good as any horse out there."

Romarin has led gate to wire in each of his five wins since arriving from Brazil in 1994, and figures to be winging it on the lead in the American.

"He (Romarin) can only do it one way," Mandella said.

Post Positions from the rail out for the American Handicap, to be run Thursday, July 4 at 1 1/8 miles on the turf: Inner City, Laffit Pincay, Jr., 115; Savinio, Chris Antley, 116; Labeeb, Eddie Delahoussaye, 119; Earl Of Barking, Goncalino Alameida, 116; Gold And Steel, Patrick Valenzuela, 118; Romarin, Chris McCarron, 120; Kazabaiyn, Kent Desormeaux, 114; Beau Jingles, Corey Nakatani, 112.

Always beware of the improver. Spirited Jaclyn has finished second behind the impressive Starry Ice in her last two starts, the 4 1/2-furlong Nursery and the 5 1/2-furlong Cinderella Stakes. But the margin of victory, 6 1/2 lengths and then four, has diminished as the distances stretch out. Trainer Sandy Shulman will saddle his developing filly in Saturday's Landaluce (Gr. II) Stakes at six furlongs.

"She's continually improving," Shulman said. "We're hoping she gets better as she goes longer."
The daughter of Native Prospector finished fifth and second in two-furlong races at Santa Anita, and broke her maiden in her first start at Hollywood Park going 4 1/2-furlongs.

"She has a long stride and it took her a while to get going in those little baby races," he said. "She's bred to be a sprinter, but six (furlongs) or more will suit her better."

The 2-year-old filly is a full sister to stakes winner Spirited Susan, who was also owned by Winning Ways Stables. Spirited Susan was named for owner Susan Hallman, who dubbed the latest runner for her 6-year-old granddaughter Jaclyn Weinstein.

Turning the tables on Starry Ice will not be an easy task. The undefeated runner has never been headed in her three lifetime starts.

"If we're going to beat Starry Ice, somebody really has to go with her early to soften her up," Shulman said.

In other developments: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is likely to run either Lady Tap or Montecito in the race, but not both.

Probables for the Landaluce Stakes (Gr. II), to be run Saturday, July 6, at six furlongs:

Cozy Angie, Alex Solis; Spirited Jaclyn, Laffit Pincay, Jr.; Starry Ice, Eddie Delahoussaye.

Possible: Lady Tap or Montecito, no rider.

Seemingly, trainer Bobby Frankel has captured about every grass stake on the Hollywood Stakes calendar, especially when it comes to older fillies and mares. Frankel has saddled four winners in both the Wilshire (Gr.II) and Gamely Handicaps (Gr. I), but will be shooting for his first Beverly Hills Handicap (Gr. I) victory when he tightens the girth on Didina in Sunday's renewal.

A winner of her first two starts in North America, Didina's late kick has come up short in three 1996 starts. The daughter of Nashwan put in a late rally in the Gamely Handicap, finishing third behind wire-to-wire winner Auriette.

"She dropped too far back last time," said Frankel, who decided to equip his 4-year-old filly with blinkers for Sunday's contest. "It was her, not the pace. She didn't want to run at all early on."

The Dahlia Handicap (Gr. II) winner will also get a change of riders, as Corey Nakatani will get a leg up.

In other developments: Trainer Wally Dollase decided to bypass the Beverly Hills with Windsharp to wait for the $700,000 Caesars Palace Turf Championship on July 21.

Auriette worked five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 Wednesday morning.

Probables for the $250,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (Gr. I), to be run Sunday, July 7, at 1 1/4 miles on the turf: Auriette, Kent Desormeaux; Didina, Corey Nakatani; Fanjica, Alex Solis; Flagbird, no rider; Grafin, Corey Black.

Possible: Bail Out Becky, no rider; Different, no rider.

Hollywood Gold Cup (Gr. I) winner Siphon will now be pointed to the Aug. 10 Pacific Classic (Gr. I) along with third-place finisher Helmsman and Tinners Way, who ran fifth.

Trainer Richard Mandella indicated Dare And Go could come back in the San Diego Handicap (Gr. III) at Del Mar. Soul Of The Matter is recovering from his bruised heel and will also be headed for the Pacific Classic.

"He's going pretty sound right now," Mandella said of Soul Of The Matter. "He's barefoot and we'll shoe him in a couple of days."

Mr Purple was eased in the Gold Cup, but returned none worse for the wear. Trainer Ron McAnally reported the Santa Anita Handicap (Gr. I) winner had an enflamed epiglottis, which will be treated in the near future.

Afternoon Deelites, who suffered a slight tear to the right fore tendon, has been retired to stud. He will ship to Airdrie Stud in Midway, Kentucky, where he will begin his stud duties in 1997.

The son of Private Terms won seven of 12 starts including the 1994 Hollywood Futurity (Gr. I) while earning $1,061,193.

"I have a barn full of good horses, but he was one of those you only see a few times in your lifetime," said trainer Richard Mandella. "He was so naturally gifted."

Northern Spur, the 1995 Breeders' Cup Turf champion and Eclipse Award-winner, has been officially retired to stud.

"He's resting comfortably in his stall," said trainer Ron McAnally.

Owned by Charles Cella, the turf runner won six of 15 starts, and finished third in his final start, the June 22 Caesars International (Gr. I) at Atlantic City. No plans for stud duty have been finalized at this time.

Jockey Corey Black and his wife Anne Marie have doubled the size of their family. Anne Marie gave birth to twin girls, Victoria and Alexis, at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. Victoria, weighing in at five pounds, one ounce, came a few minutes before her sister Alexis, five pounds, seven ounces.

Hollywood Park will feature a special 4 p.m. post time on Friday. The twilight racing program will be followed by a spectacular laser show.

Fans can enjoy a Barbecue Steak Dinner in the North Park picnic area for only $5.95. The barbecue dinner includes an 8 oz. top sirloin char-grilled, sweet corn on the cob, Texas style baked beans, roll & butter and soft drink.

As always, Friday night at Hollywood Park includes $1 admission for ages 30 and under, $1 soft drinks, beers and hot dogs.

Daily Racing Form's annual 20/20 Tour, which visits 20 racing venues in 20 consecutive days, hits Hollywood Park on Independence Day -- Thursday, July 4. Sponsored by Caesars

World, Inc., the tour will raise money for the Shoemaker Foundation, benefiting injured backstretch workers.

The Daily Racing Form expert panel will give a free wagering seminar at 11 a.m. in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Hollywood Park Casino.

The tour will take on a competitive fundraising twist, pitting an eastern team of George Bernet and Ed Fountaine against a western tandem of Roxy Roxborough and David Scott. The teams will each start with a $1,000 bankroll, making bets at each stop along the tour in order to raise money for the Shoemaker Foundation.

Fans can support the tour by attending the free seminar, and lend a hand to injured backstretch workers by purchasing a 20/20 Tour commemorative T-shirt.

FINISH LINES: Trainer Ron McAnally said Matty G came out of the Affirmed in good shape but will be rested until Del Mar . . . Arlington International reported California runners Honour And Glory, Dramatic Gold and Eltish are pointing for the July 13 Citation Challenge . . . Sandpit worked four furlongs in :50 in preparation for the July 21 Caesars Palace Turf Championship . . . Haggin Stakes winner Swiss Yodeler worked three furlongs in :36 3/5 . . . Dernier Empereur worked seven furlongs in 1:27 4/5 . . . Hollywood Park congratulates Mr. and Mrs. John Ball who celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first date at Hollywood Park on Wednesday. The couple went on their first date July 2, 1947 at Hollywood Park, and returned to the races one year later to celebrate their engagement. They were married in July of 1948 and have raised 13 children.

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