"I just haven't been happy the last few days with the way [Mr Ross] has been acting," the conditioner said. "We're better off to wait for the next one (the grade III, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on May 27). It's a big step up [for Luz de Esperanza] to say the least but the horse has just blossomed this spring and is probably a better horse than he's ever been right now. The time is right."
Just as Chairman Kaga's dream became reality -- well, television reality anyway -- when the Iron Chefs came together in Kitchen Stadium, so too will the dream of Hal's Hope's co-owner Elise Rose when her cookbook "The Road to Hal's Hope" is released this summer. "I always said when Hal (the horse, not the horse's trainer, Harold Rose) became a millionaire, I would write my book," Rose said. "He became a millionaire in March."Her book is a collection of recipes indigenous to the areas where Hal's Hope has raced during his career. Aside from his South Florida base, those areas include Lexington; Louisville; Baltimore; Chester, W. Va; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Oceanport, New Jersey.The next stop on Hal's Hope's itinerary is a return trip to Lone Star Park for Saturday's Texas Mile, a race he finished sixth in last year."Several tracks asked us to come but I said I wanted to come back to Texas," Mrs. Rose said. "I love the town; all the people here are very friendly. Last year, even the public was nice to us, but we lost. So this time I hope we'll see him win."His chances of winning this year's renewal grew brighter Wednesday with the withdrawals of expected starters Irisheyesareflying, Keats, and Mr Ross.Irisheyesareflying's trainer John Dolan explained, "I had to back off of him a bit; he didn't come out of his last workout in good order. Everything wasn't right."Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said he's more likely to enter Oklahoma-bred Luz de Esperanza than Mr Ross.