PETERSON HAS DON'T BLAME RIO READY FOR BARRERA
Trainer Doug Peterson will challenge Triple Crown participants Victory Speech and Alyrob with late-developing Don't Blame Rio in Sunday's $100,000-added Lazaro S. Barrera Stakes (Gr. III).
"He's a very determined horse," Peterson said. "I claimed him for $32,000 and I moved him up the ladder to run against stakes horses like Odyle and Hesabull in strong maiden fields. A lot of horses will go the wrong way when they are overmatched, but he has plenty of determination."
Peterson's small stable has been firing of late. He has saddled five winners from 13 starters since the beginning of Oak Tree, for a win percentage of 38.5. The wins include the Colorado King with Don't Blame Rio, the Cal Cup Starter Handicap with Reality Changes, and a $49,000 allowance with Sonic Boy, all horses he claimed in the past year.
"I've been struggling with 10-12 horses for some time," Peterson said. "But hopefully my hard work will pay off."
The former trainer of Seattle Slew haltered Don't Blame Rio in December of 1995. The 3-year-old has bankrolled $114,700 for his new connections.
"Horses like Seattle Slew are few and far between," Peterson said. "But that's why I work hard and show up everyday. You hope another good horse comes along, but I also enjoy the good horses in between. To take a horse like Don't Blame Rio, whom I claimed for $32,000, and see him develop into a stake horse -- that is something I take pride in."
In other developments:
Victory Speech, who will be making his 14th start of the year in the Barrera, has raced at 11 different tracks in 1996. The frequent traveler, who has raced in seven states and one province in U.S. and Canada, has logged approximately 12,250 miles shipping this season.
Post positions from the rail out for the $100,000-added Lazaro S. Barrera Stakes (Gr. III) for 3-year-olds, to be run Sunday at 1 1/16 miles on the main track: Alyrob, Corey Nakatani, 117; Rash Reality, Danny Sorensen, 113; Future Quest, Kent Desormeaux, 117; Zanferrier, Goncalino Almeida, 114; Don't Blame Rio, Alex Solis, 117; Pay The Bank, Michael Hunter, 113; Victory Speech, Gary Stevens, 123; and Northern Afleet, Chris McCarron, 114.
THE $700,000 MATRIARCH -- THE RACE FOR THE ECLIPSE
MEMORIES OF SILVER TO AVENGE FIRST TURF LOSS
Trainer James Toner has it all figured out. If he can win the $700,000 Matriarch (Gr. I) with Memories of Silver, the 3-year-old filly will win the Eclipse Award as the champion turf filly or mare in North America.
"I think this race will determine the Eclipse Award," Toner said. "The only problem is this is one of the toughest fields I've seen in a long time. It's the toughest Matriarch I've ever seen."
The Matriarch could bring together as many as 13 Grade I winners. Comparatively, the Breeders' Cup Classic starting gate held eight Grade I winners, and the Breeders' Cup Turf had 11.
"The Championship is out there for the taking," said Toner, who saddled 1985 Hollywood Starlet winner I'm Splendid. "Whoever is the best will get it."
Memories of Silver definitely deserves Eclipse consideration. The 3-year-old filly took to the turf immediately, winning her first four starts over the green.
"I always felt she had that kind of quality," Toner said. "The way she did everything right from the beginning, I always felt she could be any kind of horse."
The 3-year-old filly culminated the streak with a half-length win over Shake The Yoke in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (Gr. I) at Keeneland.
"The Queen Elizabeth was an awesome race," the 56-year-old trainer said. "I didn't realize how good it was until I saw the fractions, and how fast they came home. We knew we had to move early to come after Antespend, and to be able to hold off Shake The Yoke was extraordinary."
The daughter of Silver Hawk followed up that effort with a fifth-place finish behind Da Hoss as the 8-1 fourth-choice in the betting in the Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. I).
"She might have bounced a little," Toner said. "After all, she broke the track record at Keeneland by 1 2/5 seconds. And I think it hurt her to cut back to a mile from the mile-and-an-eighth. All of the four that finished ahead of her in the Mile all came out of mile races."
In other developments:
De Puntillas, who captured a $60,000 allowance on Oct. 27 at Santa Anita, worked six furlongs in 1:14 3/5 Friday at Santa Anita.
HOLLYWOOD DREAM TO SUPPLEMENT FOR MATRIARCH
Connections of Hollywood Dream, a two-time Group 1 winner this year, have notified the Hollywood Park racing office they intend to pay the $30,000 supplement to enter the 5-year-old mare in the $700,000 Matriarch (Gr. I) on Dec. 1.
The daughter of Master Willie will return to Hollywood Park where she ran 11th behind Royal Chariot in the 1995 Hollywood Turf Cup (Gr. I). Trained by Uwe Ostmann, she most recently finished second in the Premio Roma (Gr. I) on Nov. 10. Her 1996 wins include the Premio Presidente della Republica (Gr. I) in Rome and the Deutschlandpreis 50 Jahre Nordrhein Westfalen (Gr. I) in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Matriarch will be the final race of her career.
Hollywood Dream is a homebred of owners Manfred and Janet Ostermann, who race under the name of Gestut Ittlingen. The Ostermanns, the leading owner and breeder in Germany, campaigned 1995 Japan Cup winner Lando.
SAHADI GETS NEW RECRUITS
After losing Fastness and Breeders' Cup Sprint (Gr. I) winner Lit de Justice to retirement, it is time for trainer Jenine Sahadi to look to the future.
"I'll miss them both," Sahadi said. "But I look forward to watching the others develop. Just Java is training well, Megan's Interco will be gearing up for another race soon, and there are always others coming along."
Sahadi has recently added three European imports to her stable. Blackwater and El Angelo had been racing in France, while Wings Bash comes in from Italy.
Blackwater, a 3-year-old son of Irish River, has two wins from six starts in France along with a third-place finish in the Prix Jean Prat (Gr. I) at Chantilly. Sahadi considers the colt a possible supplement for the $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby (Gr. I) on Dec. 1.
El Angelo and Wings Bash went for a trial run over the Hollywood turf course Thursday. El Angelo went five furlongs in 1:00 2/5, while Wings Bash went the same distance in 1:02 3/5.
El Angelo, a 4-year-old colt by El Gran Senor, the sire of Lit de Justice, has won two of eight and most recently finished third in the Prix Dollar (Gr. III).
Wings Bash, a 4-year-old colt by In the Wings, has won eight of 22 including a listed stake in Italy.
NEW SATELLITE COORDINATES
Hollywood Park's Television Department noted a change in the satellite transmission schedule of "Today at Hollywood Park." Starting Saturday, the Friday night replay show will be broadcast on Galaxy 6, Transponder 22 from 12:30 - 1 a.m. each Saturday morning.
WEEKEND SIMULCASTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
Hollywood Park will simulcast a pair of stakes races Saturday. Fans will get to see the $125,000-added Long Island Handicap (Gr. II) from Belmont Park at 12:45 p.m., and the $50,000 Queen of the Green from Turf Paradise at 3:15 p.m.
MILLIONAIRE EARL OF BARKING RETIRED
Millionaire Earl Of Barking, who won the Hollywood Turf Handicap (Gr. I) in 1995, has been retired.
"He's done nothing but good for a long, long time," trainer Richard Cross said. "I would have liked to run him in the Citation, but he had some small problems. But for a neck, he would have gone out a winner."
The 6-year-old son of Common Grounds finished second behind Beau Jingles in his last start, the Henry P. Russell on Oct. 12. His greatest success came at Hollywood Park, where he had four wins and earnings of $802,474 from 13 starts. The Irish-bred arrived here for the turf festival in 1992 and won the first Hoist The Flag (now the Generous). He retires with nine wins, three seconds, ten thirds and earnings of $1,230,554 from 37 starts.
TOC TO HOST OWNERSHIP COURSE
Thoroughbred Owners of California will host an informational session for anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership. The "Horse Course" will take place Saturday, Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park. The free workshop will begin in the owner/trainer lounge at 8:30 a.m. Participants will watch workouts, visit the barn area and meet owners and trainers.
Topics include acquiring a thoroughbred, finding a trainer and costs of ownership. For further information, contact the TOC at (310) 330-7142.
FINISH LINES: Trainer Jeremy Noseda said Mystic Knight will run next in the $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby (Gr. I) on Dec. 1 . . . Falkenham, fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Gr. I), is a possible supplement for the $250,000 Generous (Gr. III) on Nov. 30 according to trainer Michael Harte. The 50-year-old conditioner underwent heart surgery the week of the Breeders' Cup, but is "feeling very good" now . . . Trainer Richard Cross said Halo Sunshine, fourth in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. I), has breezed once and is being pointed for the Strub series at Santa Anita . . . Helmsman, sixth in the Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. I), drilled five furlongs in :59 in preparation for the $300,000 Citation Handicap (Gr. II) on Nov. 30 . . . Smooth Runner, 11th in the Mile, worked six furlongs in 1:14, and Romarin drilled a mile in 1:38 3/5, both in preparation for the Citation . . . Volante Handicap (Gr. II) winner Odyle went seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5 as he readies for the $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby (Gr. I) . . . Cobra King breezed three furlongs in :38 3/5 at Santa Anita . . . Dunbar Hill, 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Gr. I), worked three panels in :37 4/5 at Santa Anita . . . Zippersup worked six furlongs in 1:14 1/5 following his seventh-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Gr. I) . . . Santa Anita Handicap (Gr. I) third-place runner Just Java drilled seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5 at Santa Anita . . . Cal Cup Matron winner Belle's Flag breezed four furlongs in :52 over the Santa Anita training track.
The Running Horse (http://www.isd1.com/)