Frankel Tabs Dominguez to Sub Saturday

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Bobby Frankel dialed Maryland Wednesday to obtain the services of Ramon Dominguez to replace the injured Patrick Valenzuela aboard Vangelis in the $350,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.

Vangelis will be one of three horses Frankel sends out in the Murray, joining Exterior and Continuously. Frankel has won the 1 1/2-mile turf event a record six times.

Dominguez made an auspicious Hollywood Park debut in November, winning the Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Cajun Beat and a division of the Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Louvain for Frankel.

Valenzuela suffered a concussion and torn knee ligament when he was unseated by Mango Escapade leaving the gate in the eighth race Sunday and is expected to be sidelined by knee surgery for at least one month.

Chief assistant Humberto Ascanio, overseeing Frankel's training headquarters here while the boss tends to divisions in the East, said that Vangelis, Exterior (with Alex Solis) and Continuously (with Julio Garcia) are all primed to continue the Frankel monopoly in a nine-horse Jim Murray.

Vangelis, a 6-year-old roan horse, will make his first start since finishing third in the Clement Hirsch Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita in October. "He came out of that race with a little filling in an ankle, but he's been training real well," Ascanio said. Vangelis won the Prix de Harcourt (Fr-II) in 2004.

"Continuously is also doing real good," Ascanio said of the 6-year-old horse who has run two of his best races here at 12 furlongs on turf, winning the 2003 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) through disqualification and finishing second by a nose in the 2004 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT).

Ascanio also expects improvement from Exterior, a 4-year-old Juddmonte Farms homebred who finished second in his last start in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita on April 16. "He will wear blinkers in the Jim Murray," said Ascanio. "He has had them on in his last two works here. Alex worked him Saturday and said he was much more focused."

The Frankel trio will face formidable competition in 121-pound highweight Sarafan, 2004 Hollywood Turf Cup winner Pellegrino, San Juan Capistrano winner T.H. Approval, Florida import Deputy Lad, 2004 Jim Murray runner-up Continental Red and 2003 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Runaway Dancer.