Wednesday, June 26, 1996

By Mark Midland

Suddenly, trainer Wally Dollase has doubled his chances in Sunday's $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup. Already set to saddle Helmsman in the second leg of the MGM Grand Classic Crown, Dollase decided Wednesday morning to enter 6-year-old gelding Nonproductiveasset in the contest.

"He's been training great and I know he can get the distance," said Dollase, who claimed Nonproductiveasset for $40,000 in 1993. "I was planning to go in the Bel Air (July 14), but I decided to take a crack at it."

Nonproductiveasset gets into the Gold Cup field with the light impost of 114 pounds, and will be ridden by Rene Douglas, who will be riding in his first Gold Cup. Nonproductiveasset prepared for Sunday's test working seven furlongs in 1:26 Monday morning.

The son of Stalwart finished a game second behind Gold Cup runner Siphon in the restricted Bates Motel Handicap at Santa Anita, and ran third to The Exeter Man and Dramatic Gold as the 6-5 favorite in the Sultry Song Handicap here on May 17. MGM Classic Crown

"In his last race (Sultry Song), he had all kinds of trouble," said Dollase, who saddled his only Gold Cup starter Itsallgreektome to a third-place finish behind the Bobby Frankel-trained Marquetry in 1991. "He was down on the inside, he got blocked, and then he couldn't get out when he wanted to."

Nonproductiveasset's running style of coming from well off the pace adds another closer to the Gold Cup mix.

"I know he will like 1 1/4 miles," Dollase said. "He got beat a nose in the Strub, and lost the Big 'Cap by only 3 1/2 lengths a couple years ago."

The Gold Cup now brings together six Grade I/Group 1 winners and Nonproductiveasset, who lost the 1994 Strub Stakes (Gr. I) by a nose.

"It's a very competitive race," Dollase said. "When the winner gets there, who ever it is, you'll know there's a reason why he's there first."

In other developments:

Trainer Ron McAnally said Corey Nakatani will ride Santa Anita Handicap winner Mr Purple in the Gold Cup.

Tinners Way drilled six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 Wednesday morning.

Oaklawn Handicap (Gr.I) winner Geri arrived at 1 p.m. Wednesday and was bedded down in Bill Shoemaker's barn.

Richard Mandella's Gold Cup runners had their final major preparations on Tuesday. Dare And Go worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5, while Siphon went the same distance in 1:00 3/5.

Helmsman worked six furlongs in 1:13 Tuesday morning.

Probables for the 57th running of the Hollywood Gold Cup, to be run at 1 1/4 miles on the main track: Dare And Go, Alex Solis; Helmsman, Chris McCarron; Mr Purple,* Corey Nakatani; Nonproductiveasset, Rene Douglas; Siphon, David Flores; Tinners Way, Eddie Delahoussaye, and Geri, Jerry Bailey.

* Eligible for the $2-million MGM Grand Classic Crown bonus.

HESABULL READY TO ROLL IN SUNDAY'S AFFIRMED STAKES Three Sisters Stable's Hesabull took four tries to break his maiden, but ever since having his picture taken, the son of Dispersal has been tough to keep out of the winner's circle. The 3-year-old colt put together back-to-back front-running scores for his maiden and non-winners of one allowance victories, and following a third in the Little Reb, he went wire-to-wire to upset the $100,000-added Harry Henson on June 1.

"We always thought he'd be a pretty good runner," said trainer Mike Chambers from his stable in Seattle. "He just needed to settle down a little bit."

Hesabull pressed the pace in his first three races, all losing efforts, but has been running on the front ever since. All three of his victories have been front-running scores under Eddie Delahoussaye, who will be aboard for Sunday's $100,000 Affirmed Stakes.

"The key is to just let him run, not try and rate him," he said.

In the Affirmed, Hesabull could have company on the front end in the likes of Matty G, but Chambers will stick with his original game plan.

"I think he will be on the lead," he said. "I would like to see him rate, but I think he's more comfortable running on the lead."

Probables for the $100,000 Affirmed Stakes, to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track: Hesabull, Eddie Delahoussaye; Matty G, Alex Solis; Semoran, Corey Nakatani; Slews Royal Son, Brice Blanc.

Possible: Defleet, Rene Douglas; Pugnacious, no rider; Northern Afleet, no rider.

Afternoon Deelites will be odds-on to capture the $200,000-added Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap Sunday afternoon. And with good reason. The swift son of Private Terms is undefeated in two starts over the Hollywood surface, and is perfect in four starts at seven furlongs.

"He's naturally gifted with freakish speed," Mandella said of his sprinting star, who breezed four furlongs in :51 3/5 Tuesday morning. "It's got nothing to do with what I'm doing. It's something I've tried to teach several others and they're not responding."

After testing the waters in the handicap division this winter, Mandella has decided to focus Afternoon Deelites on sprinting.

"The long-range goal is the Breeders' Cup Sprint," Mandella said. "It's just a question of how we are going to get there."

Probables for Sunday's $200,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap, to be run at seven furlongs on the main track: Afternoon Deelites, Corey Nakatani; Comininalittlehot, Jerry Bailey; Kingdom Found, Alex Solis; Letthebighossroll, Chris McCarron; Powis Castle, Laffit Pincay, Jr.; Score Quick, Goncalino Alameida; The Exeter Man, Eddie Delahoussaye.

Possible: Concept Win, no rider.

Mr Purple's upset victory for Alex G. Campbell in the Santa Anita Handicap leaves him one-third of the way to the $2-million MGM Classic Crown Bonus. The bonus, which awards a horse sweeping the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, the $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup and the $1-million Pacific Classic, with a total prize of $3.8-million was originally proposed by the Thoroughbred Owners of California as an incentive for the series.

In addition to the $2-million bonus, MGM Grand Hotel/Casino of Las Vegas will pay a $500,000 Participation Bonus, which will be distributed among the top point earners. To be eligible for the bonus, a horse must start in all three races.

Participation Bonus point distribution after the first leg of the MGM Grand Classic Crown: Mr Purple, 10 (Santa Anita Handicap winner and eligible for the $2-million bonus); Luthier Fever, 7; Just Java, 5; Helmsman, 3, and Cezind, 1.

Trainer Bob Hess Jr. seems to have found a new dimension with Tabled With Saros, who will carry 116 pounds in Saturday's $100,000 Valkyr Handicap at 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass. After running on the main track for the first 12 starts of her career, the Never Tabled filly was switched to the turf and responded with a upset win at 15-1. She was overmatched in her next start, finishing fifth in the Grade II Santa Barbara Handicap, but rebounded to finish a hard-luck second when beaten a nose by Rhapsodic in her first run over the local green.

"We've been pointing for this all along," said Hess. "She ran very good in her last and it should set her up perfectly."

Probables for Saturday's $100,000-added Valkyr Handicap, to be run at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf: Above The Table, Brice Blanc; Airistar, Corey Nakatani; Batroyale, David Flores; Flying In The Lane, Martin Pedroza; Miss L Attack, Rene Douglas; Salsa Dancer, Chris McCarron; Tabled With Saros, Kent Desormeaux.

Possible: Lady Evening Belle; Toot Sweet.

FINISH LINES: Advancing Star continued towards her comeback, working five furlongs in 1:00 Wednesday morning . . . Atticus, working four furlongs in :49, and Petit Poucet, going three furlongs in :36 1/5, prepped for Saturday's Firecracker Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs . . . Angel In My Heart worked four furlongs in 50 3/5 in preparation for the July 7 Beverly Hills Handicap . . . Other prominent works (all seven furlongs): Raintrap, 1:27 3/5; Royal Chariot, 1:26; Windsharp, 1:27 3/5 .

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