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El Gato Malo, Monterey Jazz Near Returns

Both Craig Dollase runners have been sidelined since victories in Texas this spring.

(From Hollywood Park stable notes)

El Gato Malo and Monterey Jazz, both sidelined since stakes victories in Texas this spring, are on the comeback trail, according to trainer Craig Dollase.

"They are a couple of weeks away from running,” Dollase said Nov. 7 at Hollywood Park.

“El Gato Malo had a minor leg injury after winning the (May 10) Lone Star Derby (gr. III) and got some time off at Winner‘s Circle Ranch in Bradbury,” said Dollase. “I got him back in September.”

El Gato Malo worked four furlongs in :48 3/5 at Hollywood Nov. 6. The 3-year-old gelding broke his maiden at first asking over the track last November and came back to win the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields and the San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.

“He’s being aimed for the Strub series but he may get started before that at this meet,” said Dollase.

Front-running Strub (gr. II) winner Monterey Jazz is ready to work five furlongs, according to Dollase. The 4-year-old colt won an allowance race at Hollywood last November before capturing Santa Anita's Sir Beaufort (gr. IIIT) Dec. 26 on grass, followed by the Strub victory on the synthetic main track.

“He won the (April 26) Texas Mile (gr. III) by eight lengths and got a hind-end injury,” explained Dollase of the layoff. “We were pointing him to the Met Mile (gr. I) and had to miss it.”

Monterey Jazz is nominated to the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 28, but Dollase has not yet decided on a return spot.