Chilean-bred Piensa Sonando, winner of the Native Diver Handicap here in December, worked four furlongs in :50 on the Hollywood Park main track Thursday for the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) Saturday.
Piensa Sonando is trained by Ron McAnally, who won the Inglewood Handicap on May 3 with Gondolieri, another Chilean import owned by Nelson Bunker Hunt.
His connections hope the pattern will continue in the LeRoy Handicap, contested at 1 1/16 mile. The late-running 5-year-old horse won the Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood in December.
Gondolieri and Piensa Sonando are two of six Chilean horses purchased by Hunt through agent Fernando Fantini and shipped to McAnally. The others are Seinne, Consignada, Se Vera and Voz De Colegiala.
Palmeiro worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:10.80 recently for the Mervyn LeRoy for trainer John Sadler.
Two other strong contenders are Bring Home Thegold for the John Shirreffs stable and the Bob Baffert-conditioned Wooden Phone, who was assigned top weight of 118 pounds in the nine-horse field. Wooden Phone has recorded a series of sharp works since a dismal effort in the San Bernardino Handicap April 5 in his first start in 15 months.
Other starters for the LeRoy include British Columbia import Shacane, Sunday Break and Fleetstreet Dancer. $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II), 3 &up, 1 1/16 mile
PP. Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1. Wooden Phone (FL), 118, Corey S. Nakatani
2. Lethal Instrument (KY), 114, David Romero Flores
3. Palmeiro (KY), 115, Patrick A. Valenzuela
4. Total Impact (CHI), 114, Mike E. Smith
5. Piensa Sonando (CHI), 115, Alex O. Solis
6. Shacane (BC), 114, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
7. Fleetstreet Dancer (KY), 114, Tyler Baze
8. Bring Home Thegold (KY), 113, Victor Espinoza
9. Sunday Break (JPN), 117, Gary L. Stevens