Wenesday, May 1, 1996

By Vince Bruun

Hollywood Park gates open early -- at 9 a.m. Saturday -- as the Track of the Lakes and Flowers simulcasts the Kentucky Derby and five other races from Churchill Downs. Mutuel windows open at 9:30 a.m. There will be no Early Bird wagering.

Post time for the first race from Churchill Downs is 10:15 a.m., with the first live race at 11:20 a.m. The Kentucky Derby will be run between the fifth and sixth live races at approximately 2:31 p.m. Other Churchill Downs post times follow:

$75,000 WHAS-1110:15 a.m.
$100,000 Churchill Downs Handicap11:05 a.m.
First Race -- Hollywood Park11:20 a.m.
$75,000 Providian Mile12:00 p.m.
$100,000 Humana Distaff1 p.m.
$200,000 Early Times Turf Classic1:41 p.m.

Note: Advance wagering for all of Saturday's Churchill Downs races will be available after 5 p.m. Friday.

Early Bird wagering hours will be extended Friday to accommodate the simulcast of the prestigious Kentucky Oaks -- three others stakes races from Churchill Downs -- and the entire card from Canada's Woodbine. The program is available in the Hollywood Park Casino only, with mutuels opening at 7:30 a.m.

The races from Woodbine begin at 9:55 a.m., with the first Churchill Downs simulcast scheduled for 12:35 p.m. The entire Churchill lineup follows:

Churchill Downs Turf Sprint12:35 p.m.
Louisville Breeders' Cup H. 1:15 p.m.
Crown Royal American Turf 2:05 p.m.
Kentucky Oaks 2:45 p.m.

Note: Advance wagering will be available after 12 p.m. Thursday.

Friday's first live race is at 7 p.m., with track gates opening at 5 p.m. Besides the live action, there will be simulcast wagering on Cal Expo (beginning at 5:30 p.m.), Golden Gate (6 p.m.), Los Alamitos (6 p.m.) and Hong Kong (10:15 p.m.).

The 1986 Kentucky Derby trophy, commemorating the tenth anniversary of Ferdinand's 2 1/4-length score in the 1 1/4-mile classic, is on display at Hollywood Park through Saturday. The trophy is on display from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Breeders' Cup Information Center. After 3 p.m., the trophy is on display in the Turf Club until closing. Friday night, the trophy will be in the Breeders' Cup Information Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and in the Turf Club thereafter until closing. The Breeders' Cup Information Center is located on the west end of the paddock.

Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan's Del Mar Dennis can accomplish another milestone in Saturday's $100,000-added Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (Gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.

With a victory, Del Mar Dennis, who captured the 1994 Mervyn LeRoy in a quick 1:40 2/5, would move over the $1-million mark in career earnings. The 6-year-old son of Dixieland Band has won 10 of 21 starts and $971,475. A victory in the LeRoy would be worth approximately $60,000 and Del Mar Dennis would join Bien Bien as McCaffery/Toffan colorbearers to win $1 million.

Already this spring, Del Mar Dennis joined John Henry as the only horses to ever win a Santa Anita stakes race three consecutive times, accomplishing the feat with a wire-to-wire victory over Just Java in the Grade II San Bernardino Handicap.

Del Mar Dennis, who worked a half-mile in :47 4/5 Wednesday for trainer Paco Gonzalez, will attempt to keep another streak alive. Remarkably, the chestnut gelding has never finished second in his career.

Rio Claro Thoroughbreds' Siphon, fresh from a gate-to-wire score in the restricted Bates Motel Handicp at Santa Anita, worked three furlongs in :38, handily, for trainer Richard Mandella. The 5-year-old Brazilian-bred might be the speed of the speed, if he starts.

Probables for the 17th running of the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (Gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles: Del Mar Dennis, Rene Douglas, 119; Eltish, Eddie Delahoussaye, 117; Dramatic Gold, Laffit Pincay Jr., 117, and Siphon, no rider, 117.

Possible: Lykatill Hil, no rider, 115, and Regal Rowdy, no rider, 114.

Cuadra T Y T Inc.' s Luthier Fever will miss Saturday's Mervyn LeRoy Handicap because of a quarter-crack in the right front foot, trainer Ted West said.

West said the ailment has bothered the 5-year-old Cal-bred since he began training the horse two months ago, but added the problem isn't serious.

"He isn't sore on it," West said from his Santa Anita headquarters. "It's an aggravation of an old thing. We'd love to run him, but we just can't."

West said the plan now is to have Luthier Fever ready for the $250,000 Californian (Gr. I) on Sunday, June 2.

Luthier Fever (23-6-5-6-$640,852) finished second in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (Gr. I) on March 2, and most recently was seventh in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (Gr. I) on April 6.

Tanja, a recent stakes winner at Turfway Park, will make her California debut in Sunday's $100,000-added Railbird Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Tanja, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Allen's Prospect, was recently sold in a private sale and is now in the barn of Vladimir Cerin. In Kentucky, she campaigned for trainer Jerry L. Romans and owners Frank Jones and Allen E. Paulson, who is also the breeder.

If nothing else, Tanja (10-4-1-1-$104,223) figures to make life difficult for speedster Raw Gold in the seven-furlong Railbird. In all of her victories -- including a triumph in the $64,850 Valdale Stakes March 9 at Turfway Park -- Tanja led gate-to-wire. In eight of her 10 starts she's had the lead after a half-mile.

Fleet Road, the dam of Tanja, was purchased by Paulson for $105,000 at the 1985 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and her victories included the restricted Askmenow Stakes at Hollywood Park in 1987.

Probables for the 34th running of the Railbird Stakes, to be decided at seven furlongs on the main track: Hidden Lake, Chris McCarron; Raw Gold, Chris Antley; Soviet Nights, Eddie Delahoussaye; Supercilious, Corey Nakatani; Tanja, Kent Desormeaux, and Tiffany Diamond, Alex Solis.

Possible: To B. Super, no rider.

FINISH LINES: Jockey Don Miller Jr., who rode Deputed Testamony to victory in the 1983 Preakness, will ride at Hollywood Park Friday and Saturday. Miller, 32, will have the call on Vaudvillian for trainer Richard Lies in Saturday's $75,000-added Snow Chief Stakes for Cal-bred 3-year-olds. Other confirmed for the 1 1/16-mile Snow Chief: Argonnier (Martin Pedroza), Budroyale (no rider) and E C's Dream, (Laffit Pincay Jr.) . . . Trainer Ben Cecil said San Francisco Handicap winner Gold And Steel will be pointed to the $700,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. II) on June 16. "He'll definitely remain on turf," Cecil said of Gold And Steel . . . Trainer Sandy Shulman said Abaginone will make his next start in the $200,000-added Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (Gr. III) on Hollywood Gold Cup Day, Sunday, June 30 . . . Trainers Paul Assinesi (35) and Craig Lewis (49) celebrated birthdays Wednesday . . . Trainer Grant Hofmans posted his first career stakes victory with Reyla Graber's Salsa Dancer ($32.20) in Sunday's $75,000-added Bel's Starlet Stakes for Cal-bred fillies and mares. Hofmans, incidentally, had just returned home following his honeymoon with paddock judge Christine Hofmans in Perto Vallarta . . . Chris Antley, who rode Salsa Dancer to victory, had a stakes win on each of the first three cards . . .Citation Handicap winner Fastness drilled five furlongs in a bullet :59 on a fast main track for trainer Jenine Sahadi . . . Two-time Pacific Classic winner Tinners Way worked six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 for trainer Bobby Frankel, and Santa Anita Grass Horse of the Meeting Tychonic also drilled six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 for Frankel.

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