Miracle Return of Mister Acpen in Inglewood

(from Hollywood Park report)
Mister Acpen, a 7-year-old Chilean-bred whose life may have been saved by finding refuge in The Netherlands, returns from a 16-month layoff Saturday as one of the contenders in Hollywood Park's $100,000-added Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

According to trainer Kristin Mulhall, Mister Acpen returned to the United States from his last race, the Hong Kong Mile in December of 2003, with a rare blood disease, pyroplasmosis, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

"I was told I had 24 hours to get him out of the country or he would be destroyed," said Mulhall. Frantically checking her options, she found most countries unwilling to accept the horse before learning that The Netherlands could be a refuge.

"He spent most of last year at Koslacc Stud, an Arabian farm in Holland," Mulhall said. Returned to New York last December, Mister Acpen finally passed his blood test after several false positives. "Fortunately, he's owned by a lawyer (Neil Papiano) who fought for him," said Mulhall, "or he would be dead."

Mister Acpen, who shows career earnings of $317,974 from a 6-3-1 record in 21 starts, will be ridden by Alex Solis in Saturday's Inglewood.

A field of eight will go to the post in the Inglewood.

Vangelis, who carries high weight of 117 pounds, is also coming off a lengthy layoff. The 6-year-old roan trained by Bobby Frankel for Bloodstock Management Services, has not raced since finishing a fast-closing third in Oak Tree's Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Stakes (gr. IT) in October.

$100,00-added Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT), 3 & up, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Vangelis, Jose Valdivia Jr., 117
2. Mister Acpen, Solis, 116
3. King Of Happiness, Patrick Valenzuela, 116
4. Capitano, Jon Court, 113
5. Inesperado, Tyler Baze, 116
6. Red Fort, Corey Nakatani, 115
7. Fail Me Not, Garrett Gomez, 113
8. Just Wonder, Rene Douglas, 116