By Chris Esslinger

Wednesday, December 18, 1996

Home of the 1997 Breeders' Cup


In a move intended to keep his options open down the road, Citation Handicap (Gr. II) champion Gentlemen moves from the turf course to the main track in Sunday’s $100,000-added Native Diver Handicap (Gr. III), the final stakes race of Hollywood Park’s Autumn Meeting.

“He went a nice five-eighths in 1:00 and 2/5 on Sunday,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “He’s coming up to the race in good order.”

The 4-year-old chestnut colt has won twice on dirt in his native Argentina, but faltered in his lone start on the main track here in the U.S., finishing sixth in an allowance race on June 19.

“There’s a lot of money to win on the dirt,” Mandella said. “So if I can get him to run on the dirt, I want to know if that’s going to be an option for him next year. Right now, there’s no important turf race around, so we’re not going to lose anything to try this now.”

The Argentina-bred has seven wins from 10 starts and has bankrolled $559,458. Gary Stevens, who guided the son of Robin des Bols to victory in the Citation, will be in the irons for the Native Diver.

“If this isn’t going to work, we can get it out of our minds and point to the best grass races,” Mandella added.

In other Native Diver developments:

Dramatic Gold drilled six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 on Tuesday for trainer David Hofmans.

Spectal breezed four furlongs in :51 3/5 on Monday for trainer Doug Peterson.

Torole worked seven furlongs in 1:26 Monday at Santa Anita for trainer Jerry Searing.

Probables for Sunday’s $100,000-added Native Diver Handicap, to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track: Arrivederci Baby, no rider; Cleante, no rider; Dramatic Gold, Desormeaux; Gentlemen, Stevens; Kingdom Found, no rider; Powerful Punch, Julio Garcia, and Torole, no rider.

Possible: Elmhurst, Corey Nakatani; Peyrano, Rene Douglas; Sonic Boy, no rider, and Spectal, no rider.


A drawing for a trip for two is one of the highlights as Hollywood Park salutes its patrons on Fan Appreciation Day Sunday as the 1996 Autumn Meeting concludes.

In addition, the first several thousand fans to arrive will receive a free copy of A Fan’s Guide to Southern California Racing, a racing statistic book featuring jockey, trainer and owner profiles, as well as interviews and statistics about Southern California racing.

Fans can also enter drawings for several prizes including:

A trip for two to the 1997 Kentucky Derby. Four days and three nights in Louisville, tickets for both the Oaks and Derby and $500 cash.

Tickets for the 1997 Breeders’ Cup and $500 cash.

Trip for two to Turf Paradise. Includes round-trip airfare to Phoenix, three days and two nights accomodations, racing tickets for two days plus $250 cash.

Two getaways to Las Vegas including two nights at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino plus $150 cash.

Five $1,000 horse racing gambling sprees.

Two $500 Hollywood Park Casino gambling sprees.

One $250 gift certificate to Sports Chalet.


Children of all ages can enjoy snow in Southern California when Hollywood Park hosts its annual Snow Day on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the North Park.

The event features over 100 tons of snow spread over the North Park, including a giant snow mountain which kids can sled down. Every child 12 years old and under will receive a free bottle of jellybeans and a coloring book, while supplies last. Santa Claus and Hollywood Park mascot Captain Hoof will be available for photos and will also be giving out candy.

Snow Day is free to all children 12 and under, and to any adult accompanied by a child.

Enter Hollywood Park’s parking lot through Gate 2 off Prarie Avenue, just north of Century Boulevard. Go through the gate at the North Battery and go up Tunnel Five to the North Park.

For more information, contact Hollywood Park at (310) 419-1579.

PINCAY WATCH: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. did not ride a winner on Sunday. His career win total stands at 8,492, placing him second on the all-time list behind Bill Shoemaker’s 8,833 winners.

FINISH LINES: Trainer Darrell Vienna indicated that Cal Cup Matron champion Belle’s Flag, who drilled three furlongs in :35 on Tuesday at Santa Anita, will likely run in the Dec. 28 La Brea at the Arcadia track, while Wavy Run, who ran in the Hong Kong International Bowl, will get another two weeks’ rest and then get ready for a spring campaign. Vienna said Wavy Run was “a little flat” the day of the race in Hong Kong, but that he came out of it “sound but tired” after the long trip . . . Trainer Ian Jory said he has no “fixed plans” for Cal Cup Classic runner-up Mateo, although he said the Feb. 2 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita remains “a possibility” . . . Trainer Ben Cecil will wait another two months before he runs Donna Viola in the Mar. 22 Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita. “She’s doing fine, we’re galloping her now,” Cecil said. “I just don’t want to rush her return.” The Yellow Ribbon heroine has been sidelined since Nov. 13 with a muscle pull. Cecil also indicated that Housa Dancer, who worked seven furlongs in 1:28 on Monday, will run at Golden Gate in the Dec. 26 Moment to Buy, and then get ready for the Jan. 19 San Gorgonio at Santa Anita. Workouts: Alphabet Soup, aiming for his return in the Jan. 12 San Pasqual at Santa Anita, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 on Monday . . . Beau Jingles, aiming for the Dec. 28 Ack Ack at Santa Anita, drilled five furlongs in 1:00 on Tuesday . . . Bayakoa winner Listening worked a half-mile in :48 2/5 on Tuesday at Santa Anita . . . Ready to Order, pointing at the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 at the Arcadia track on Monday . . . Cal Cup Sprint winner Testimony, who most recently finished fifth in the On Trust, drilled four furlongs in :48 on Monday . . . Playa Del Rey third-place finisher Tiger Talk worked five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 on Tuesday . . . Via Lombardia, who finished third in the Citation Handicap, worked four furlongs in :52 on Tuesday.

The Running Horse (