Drysdale: No Decision On War Chant's Status

Edited press release from Hollywood Park
War Chant, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile and Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile in his only two grass outings, remains fit and ready for a possible final start in Sunday's $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby before retirement to stud. Trainer Neil Drysdale said Tuesday morning that owner-breeder Irving Cowan has not advised him of any decision as to whether War Chant, who worked seven furlongs here Sunday, would run.

The Derby is one of six stakes being offered as part of the $2.1-million Hollywood Park Turf Festival that will be run Friday through Sunday.

Meanwhile, Manndar, the 122-pound co-highweight for the $500,000 Citation Handicap Saturday, blew out three furlongs in 37 2/5 on the main track here Tuesday morning under exercise rider Ignacio Vasquez to the satisfaction of trainer Beau Greely. "He should have a real good shot at the Eclipse if he wins," said Greely. Manndar, a 4-year-old colt, has won two grade I stakes this year -- the Woodford at Churchill Downs and the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park -- and was a tough-luck second in the Arlington Million, another grade I.

Caffe Latte, one of four Hollywood Park Turf Festival candidates to work on the Santa Anita main track Tuesday, was clocked in 1:00 1/5 for five furlongs in preparation for the $500,000 Matriarch for fillies and mares Sunday. The four-year-old filly won the Grade I Ramona Handicap in September for trainer Bob Baffert. Lady At Peace, who was supplemented to The Matriarch for $15,000 by trainer Alexis Barba, covered the same distance in 1:00.

In addition, Designed For Luck worked five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 for the Hollywood Derby, and Treasure Hunt blew out three furlongs in a bullet :34 3/5 for the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express Friday.
On the Hollywood Park main track Monday, 122-pound co-high weight Ladies Din worked five furlongs in 1:02 for the $500,000 Citation Handicap, and Derby candidates David Copperfield and El Gran Papa worked five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 and six furlongs in 1:14, respectively.

At Santa Anita Monday, supplementary nominee Skywriting worked four furlongs in :50 1/5 for the $200,000 Miesque Stakes Friday.

While trainer Bobby Frankel was in Japan preparing Timboroa and Euchre for major stakes there this weekend, chief assistant Humberto Ascanio was on the phone with his boss Tuesday morning coordinating a busy schedule here. Frankel, the all-time training leader in Turf Festival wins with six, plans to send out nine starters in the six races. Ascanio showed off the most recent arrival, English import Marine, who galloped for the first time this morning after clearing quarantine Monday. The 2-year-old Juddmonte Farms colt, previously trained by Roger Charlton, will run in the $200,000 Generous Stakes Saturday. Cocky, flown in from Kentucky, is one of three Frankel-trained aspirants for the Hollywood Derby, joining El Gran Papa and French import Igman. Langoureuse is one of three French invaders Frankel plans to send out in the $200,000 Miesque Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Friday. The others are Skatesheba and Fantastic Filly. Frankel also plans to run 1999 Early Times Hollywood Derby winner Super Quercus in the $500,000 Citation Handicap Saturday and defending champion Happyanunoit in the Matriarch.

Fields for the $200,000 Miesque Stakes and $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express on Friday, the first two races of the Turf Festival this weekend, were to be drawn Wednesday.

Following are the tentative rundowns for the other four stakes:

CITATION HANDICAP - Ladies Din, Kent Desormeaux, 122 pounds; Manndar, Corey Nakatani, 122; Asidero, Alex Solis, 118; Charge d'Affaires, Jose Santos, 116; Native Desert, no rider, 116; Super Quercus, Victor Espinoza, 116; Devine Wind, Garrett Gomez, 115; Kahal, no rider, 115, and Midnight Foxtrot, Laffit Pincay Jr., 110. Possible: Gold Nugget (114), Self Feeder (114), Double Heart (111).

GENEROUS STAKES - Broadway Moon, Pincay; High Tech Exec, Desormeaux; Learing At Kathy, Gomez; Marine, Eddie Delahoussaye; Signore; Pasquale, Espinoza; Startac, Solis; Zillah The Hun, Nakatani; Media Mogul, Chris McCarron, and Deeliteful Irving, no rider. All starters carry 121.

TIMES HOLLYWOOD DERBY - Cocky, Nakatani; David Copperfield, Espinoza; Designed For Luck, Pincay; El Gran Papa, Jerry Bailey; Guillamou City, no rider; Igman, Desormeaux; Jokerman, no rider; New Advantage, David Flores; Sign Of Hope, Solis; Walkslikeaduck (Delahoussaye); War Chant, Gary Stevens; Zentsov Street, McCarron); Brahms, no rider, and Muntej, Gomez. All starters carry 122 pounds.

THE MATRIARCH - Caffe Latte, Espinoza; Gourmet Girl, no rider; Happyanunoit, Nakatani; New Story, Stevens; Polaire, Desormeaux; Snow Polina, Bailey; Tout Charmant, McCarron; Tranquility Lake, Delahoussaye; Lady At Peace, no rider, and Mauricienne, Gomez. Possible: Juvenia, Smooth Player. Three-year-olds carry 120; older 123.

Hollywood Park's traditional complimentary Thanksgiving Day meal will be served to stable employees and their families in the track kitchen beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday. Melody Conlon, new assistant to stall superintendent Paul Kooba, and Tonya Soriano of the stable security office, will assist the staff from Hollywood Park's catering department in providing this traditional meal to Hollywood Park stable area personnel. More than 600 were served last year.

FINISH LINES: Jockey agent Jim Pegram said both David Flores and Garrett Gomez, who booked off Sunday, were fine. Pegram said Flores took some pain pills for sore ribs before flying to Japan Monday for weekend mounts on Timboroa and Euchre. Pegram explained that Gomez rushed to be with his wife, who is six months pregnant and became ill.... Bienamado, winner of the Sunset Handicap in July, will apparently skip the Citation to run in the $400,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Dec. 2.... Muntej, winner of the Sky Classic at Woodbine for Roger Attfield, was scheduled to arrive in the Neil Drysdale barn this afternoon for the Hollywood Derby. Brahms, winner of the River City Handicap at Churchill Downs for Elliott Walden in his last start and a second Derby shipper, were scheduled to arrive in the barn of Ian Jory... French invaders Guillamou City for the Derby and Double Heart for the Citation are scheduled to arrive here Wednesday.... Clockers gave War Chant and Hollywood Baldcat times of 1:33 2/5 for their turf work Sunday and credited New Story with a time of 1:26 2/5, all for seven furlongs... Unbeaten Jetin Excess worked five furlongs in 1:04 1/5 here Tuesday morning for Pico Perdomo in preparation for the $200,000 Hollywood Starlet Dec. 17... Isaias Enriquez will be at Golden Gate Fields Friday for a stakes engagement on Eagleton.