Lava Man is back at the Doug O'Neill barn at Hollywood Park to prepare for a 2008 campaign.
Warren Stute, a popular Thoroughbred trainer on the Southern California circuit for nearly 70 years, died Thursday at his home in Arcadia, Calif. He was 85.
Favored Lava Man joined the legendary Native Diver as the only horse to win the prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) in three consecutive years when he prevailed by a nose over the gritty A. P. Xcellent in a heart-pounding stretch duel Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Lava Man, attempting to match legendary Native Diver with his third consecutive victory in Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), will face eight rivals in the 1 1/4-mile classic at Hollywood Park.
Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, the national earnings leader with more than $12 million in purses, seeks to pad those figures with an invasion of Hollywood Park for the three richest races of the meet the next two weekends.
Lava Man, despite six grade I victories on dirt and grass and earnings of over $4.7 million, has had his knockers, because of his inability to win, or even run well, outside of California. But, on Saturday, he will be home and attempting to make history by equaling Native Diver's record three Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) wins.
Lava Man, who can match legendary Native Diver with a third consecutive victory in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) June 30, has been assigned high weight of 124 pounds for the 1 1/4-mile classic.
"NTRA Summer Racing - "Powered by Dodge," seven shows featuring 16 races, will air on the ESPN networks beginning June 30, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced June 13.
Favorite Buzzards Bay, under strong urging from jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., gamely held off the late charging 25-1 shot Sun Boat to win the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) by a nose on the Cushion Track Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Trainer Richard Mandella says he's toying with the idea of running The Tin Man in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) following the 9-year-old gelding's impressive win in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Monday.
Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man could return to competition for the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) June 30, while quarter cracks have delayed the comeback of juvenile champion Stevie Wonderboy, trainer Doug O'Neill reported May 9.
Victor Espinoza had a nice fallback when Cobalt Blue was withdrawn from Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), instead riding Molengao to a convincing 4 1/2-length win in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
In an agreement with Lingfield Park Racecourse in Surrey, England, Hollywood Park will issue an invitation to the winner of the 2007 Winter Derby (Eng-III) to participate in the 68th running of the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on June 30.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday that television viewership for the first four shows of its "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships -- Powered by Dodge" was up 45% over last year's numbers.
Lava Man, a former claiming horse, became the first runner since Native Diver in 1967 to win back-to-back editions of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) when he won a heart-pounding finish by a nose Saturday over the longest shot in the field, Ace Blue.
Seek Gold, 91-1 upset winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in his last start, arrived at Hollywood Park from Louisville on Wednesday afternoon with a new giant to slay – Lava Man in Saturday's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Dynamic California-bred Lava Man, on a four-race winning streak, was assigned 124 pounds for Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I). But after everything the 5-year-old gelding has accomplished this year, that probably wasn't enough -- just four rivals are signed on to challenge him.
Seek Gold, upset winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 17, turned in a sparkling five furlong work on Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for an expected start in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 8. Likely favorite Lava Man was assigned 124 pounds for the 1 1/4-mile event.
Dixie Meister, who had never won a race outside of Texas, established himself as a contender for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) with a one-length victory over Super Frolic in the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Hollywood Park has released its $9.475 million stakes schedule for its spring/summer meet that begins April 26. There are 31 graded races on the schedule.
Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, recent winner of Belmont Park's Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), is the likely favorite as he attempts to become the first Eastern-based horse since Skip Away in 1998 to capture Hollywood Park's signature event, the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), on Saturday.
Musique Toujours, upset winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic in January, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 Monday for Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I).
Dogwood Stable's millionaire Limehouse, winner of the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), will run next in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 9, going 1 1/4 miles at Hollywood Park.
Pollard's Vision and Offlee Wild, a pair of graded stakes winners based in New York, are under strong consideration for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) July 9, Hollywood Park stakes coordinator Dan Eidson said Sunday.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The good old days? They weren't that long ago for horse racing fans in Southern California.
The Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), one of the nation's premier races since Seabiscuit won the inaugural running in 1938, will be returned to its handicap status for the 66th running on July 9.
"It's really wonderful when you make a tactical plan and it works out like a dream," said trainer Laura de Seroux Sunday, still on cloud nine at her San Luis Rey Downs base after winning the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Saturday with Total Impact.
The Chilean-bred Total Impact rewarded the constant faith in him displayed by trainer Laura de Seroux, ending a seven-race losing streak with an upset victory in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Laffit Pincay Jr. will visit Hollywood Park to make the presentation of the inaugural Laffit Pincay Jr. Award, which will be presented annually on Hollywood Gold Cup Day to a person who has served the sport with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction.
The $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), from Hollywood Park will highlight Saturday's "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Powered by Dodge" on ESPN2, airing between 8-9 p.m. Also on tap is same day coverage of the $300,000 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) and a recap of the six-race Summit of Speed from Calder Race Course in Miami.
Even the Score, the probable favorite for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on Saturday, completed drills for the 1 1/4-mile race with a five-furlong work in 1:00 Monday at Hollywood Park.
Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), and Even The Score, winner of the 2004 Meryvn LeRoy Handicap and Californian (both gr. II), head a list of 12 nominations to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10.
"Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Powered by Dodge," a four-month, 17-program series, returns on the ESPN networks beginning July 4 with taped coverage of last Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby from The Curragh in Ireland.
Southern Image will be forced to miss the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10 because of a foot injury, Mike Machowsky reported Sunday from his Santa Anita training base.
Hollywood Park, site of Laffit Pincay Jr.'s record victory No. 8,834, has named an award in honor of the Hall of Fame jockey, who retired with a record 9,530 victories in 2003.
Trainer Mike Machowsky said Friday that Southern Image will probably make his next start in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10 at Hollywood Park following the 4-year-old colt's runner-up finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Jockey Jerry Bailey's decision to send Congaree earns him his Hollywood Gold Cup and providing Bob Baffert with a graded stakes double.
The well-traveled Harlan's Holiday familiarized himself with new surroundings in Stall 20 in Barn 52 at Hollywood Park Thursday morning after completing his first trip to California for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) Sunday.
Stonerside Stable's Congaree was confirmed as a starter for Sunday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup by trainer Bob Baffert after the 5-year-old son of Arazi worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 handily over the fast main track at Hollywood Park Tuesday morning.
Harlan's Holiday, scratched Saturday from the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, will be flown from New York to California on Thursday to compete in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) Sunday, trainer Todd Pletcher informed the racing office.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, an upset winner over Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), turned in his first work since that race with an easy five-furlong breeze on Saturday at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville Training Center.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, winner of last week's $750,000-added Stephen Foster (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, will most likely be heading to Hollywood Park for his next race.
Sky Jack, who finished sixth in a tough allowance race on the grass at Hollywood Park Friday night in his first start since undergoing a third knee surgery in September, will not defend honors in the Hollywood Gold Cup July 13, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.
Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., who surpassed Bill Shoemaker as racing's all-time win leader with victory No. 8,834 aboard Irish Nip here on Dec. 10, 1999, will be honored by Hollywood Park on Sunday, July 13 -- Hollywood Gold Cup Day.
Stronach Stables' Milwaukee Brew, working Wednesday for the first time since winning the March 1 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), logged a half-mile in :49 1/5 handily under jockey Patrick Valenzuela.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) contenders Kudos, Pleasantly Perfect and Olmodavor are pointed toward important early stakes races by trainer Richard Mandella. Argentine-bred mare Palmarola prepares for the Humana Distaff (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day.
Roland Richard Sahm, who along with his wife, Ramona, campaigned Thoroughbreds throughout the late 1980s, including 1986 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Super Diamond, died on Jan. 25 at age 85 at his home in Rancho Santa Fe.
Sky Jack joined some elite company on Sunday when the 6-year-old gelding by Jaklin Klugman became the fifth California-bred to win the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I). Sky Jack won the 1 1/4-mile fixture under 55-year-old Laffit Pincay Jr. after a stretch-long duel with Momentum, finally prevailing by a nose.
Including last-minute entry Dig For It, who was supplemented for $25,000 by trainer Bruce Headley, a field of seven was entered for Sunday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park.
Sunday's grade I at Hollywood Park is the first of 16 "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" broadcasts.
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