Hills Back For More With Clinet in Las Palmas

(from Oak Tree reports)
John Hills, who saddled Dark Islander off the plane to win the Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) on Oct. 14 for his first victory in the United States, is back from his native England with Clinet in Sunday's Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Santa Anita turf.

"She hasn't run since March because she had an injury in England in May," the 47-year-old trainer said. "We were going to get ready for Royal Ascot but she hurt herself quite badly. Historically, at least, she's always been quite good first time out after a break. We won with her first time out this year in Dubai, and she won first time out as a 3-year-old, so from that standpoint, it gives you a bit of encouragement.

"It's a big thing coming over here and I got away with it once," he added, referring to Dark Islander. "I'd like to get away with it twice. She's a nice filly and I think she'll love it over here. I think she'll love the surface and she wants a strong gallop, so we're looking forward to her running."

Clinet, a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Docksider, has a 5-3-5 record from 23 starts, with earnings of $251,332.

A field of nine contests the one-mile Las Palmas on closing day of the Oak Tree stand. Beautyandthebeast and Brazilian-bred Movie Star are among the leading contenders.

Beautyandthebeast will carry top impost of 117 pounds. Owned and bred by Abergwaum Farm, the Neil Drysdale-trained 4-year-old is coming off a victory in Oak Tree's Swingtime Stakes. Corey Nakatani retains the mount. Beautyandthebeast has won five of 13 lifetime starts for earnings of $185,184.

Movie Star has been competitive in graded stakes, but has won just once, in the Navajo Princes at the Meadowlands, in six starts since joining Bobby Frankel's barn following her arrival from Brazil. Patrick Valenzuela will be aboard for the trainer who has won the Las Palmas two of the past three years. The 5-year-old Movie Star shows a 3-5-0 record in 12 lifetime starts for earnings of $111,555.

$150,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 4:07 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, One Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Movie Star (BRZ), 114, Patrick A. Valenzuela
2. Beautyandthebeast (GB), 117, Corey S. Nakatani
3. Sandra's Rose (KY), 115, Martin A. Pedroza
4. Singalong (GB), 115, David R. Flores
5. Quemar (NZ), 111, Victor Espinoza
6. Strong Faith (KY), 115, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
7. Berbatim (KY), 115, Aaron T. Gryder
8. Clinet (IRE), 115, Alex O. Solis
9. Sohgol (IRE), 114, Jorge F. Chavez