Acclamation Pronounced Fit; Could Run In Mervyn LeRoy

Stable Notes
Posted 04.29.12 at 12:57

Acclamation. © Benoit Photo

After a brief scare Thursday, Acclamation, the champion older male of 2011, was declared fit and ready by trainer Don Warren and could run in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

A Grade II at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, the LeRoy is one of three stakes on a program that will also include the simulcast of the 138th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs.

According to Warren, Acclamation took “a few bad steps” Thursday in preparation for a start for Friday’s Inglewood Handicap. “We can’t take a chance with a horse like this,” Warren declared. “But the x-rays were clean, his legs were cold and he galloped perfect Saturday and Sunday.”

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Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol The Latest Thoroughbred Owners

Stable Notes
Posted 04.25.12 at 2:12

Trainer Doug O'Neill. © Benoit Photo

Social media sites were buzzing Wednesday night with the news that Los Angeles Laker stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol purchased their first Thoroughbred.

“How exciting is that?,” said an excited Doug O’Neill, who has trained Siempre Mio for all five of his starts and will continue to handle the 4-year-old gelding for the new partnership.

“Mark Verge donated a quarter of Siempre Mio to the Laker Foundation and he’s friends with Jeanie Buss, who invited us to the charity dinner. Pau Gasol bid first, but then he and Kobe got into a little bit of a bidding war. Kobe won the bidding at $8,000. Afterwards, Mark went up to Pau and asked him if he wanted to buy into the horse, too and pretty soon Mike Sullivan also ended up buying in. So they wound up raising $24,000 for the charity and we got some new people into the game. This should be a lot of fun.”

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Liaison Looks To Follow In Big Footsteps

Stable Notes
Posted 12.18.11 at 12:31

Liaison and Rafael Bejarano hold off Rousing Sermon (Joseph Talamo) to win the CashCall Futurity. © Benoit Photo

“He’s doing really well,” Bob Baffert said by telephone from his Santa Anita base Sunday morning in an update on Liaison, who gave the Hall of Fame trainer a record sixth victory in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park Saturday.

Liaison, recording his third straight victory under jockey Rafael Bejarano, hopes to follow in the giant footsteps of Baffert’s five previous winners—Real Quiet, Captain Steve, Point Given, Pioneerof the Nile and Lookin at Lucky—who collectively went on to earn a Horse of the Year title and three Eclipse Awards while capturing one Kentucky Derby, three Preakness Stakes, one Belmont Stakes, one Dubai World Cup, one Hollywood Gold Cup and two Santa Anita Derbies, among others.

Baffert said Liaison, a son of Indian Charlie owned by Arnold Zetcher, would probably resurface at Santa Anita. “Nothing definite yet,” said Baffert. “We all need to sit down and see how he’s doing. He’s on the Derby program.”

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Miller Seeks “Re-Pete” In $750,000 CashCall Futurity

Stable Notes
Posted 12.14.11 at 12:25

Trainer Peter Miller. Benoit Photo

Trainer Peter Miller stood atop the second-story staircase on Barn 66 South overlooking the training track at Hollywood Park Wednesday before entering Majestic City in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity Saturday.

“He’s being dismissed by a lot of people, but at their own peril,” said Miller, as optimistic about the chances of the 2-year-old colt as he was about those of Comma to the Top before he won the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track last year.

Comma to the Top came into the Futurity on a four-race winning streak last year while Majestic City enters the race on a three-race losing skein, but Miller has not lost faith in the chestnut son of City Zip.

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Hollendorfer Seeks Starlet-Futurity Sweep

Stable Notes
Posted 12.11.11 at 12:24

Jerry Hollendorfer. © Benoit Photo

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer hopes the formula that enabled Killer Graces to win the $402,000 Grade I Hollywood Starlet Saturday works again with Rousing Sermon in the $750,000-guaranteed CashCall Futurity next Saturday
at Hollywood Park.

Killer Graces finished second in the Sharp Cat Stakes in her prep for the Starlet November 13 and Rousing Sermon similarly finished second in the Real Quiet Stakes, the prep for the Futurity November 12.

“Awesome,” said Dan Ward, assistant to Hollendorfer, Sunday morning after Rousing Sermon worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 with jockey Joe Talamo.

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Desormais, Cozzetti Join CashCall Futurity Chase

Stable Notes
Posted 12.07.11 at 12:05

Two-year-olds were coming from everywhere for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity December 17 at Hollywood Park.

Desormais was flown to California from Europe Wednesday, one day after Cozzetti arrived from Kentucky, to swell the probable lineup to 13 in the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.

“Desormais is en route from Amsterdam as we speak,” said Aron Wellman, head of the Eclipse Thoroughbred partnership that owns the colt, Wednesday morning of a scheduled noon landing. He is scheduled to join the Paddy Gallagher stable after clearing quarantine.

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Weemissfrankie Seeks To Join Elite Starlet Company

Stable Notes
Posted 12.04.11 at 2:00

Weemissfrankie and Rafael Bejarano after victory in the Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita. © Benoit Photo

Trainer Peter Eurton stood outside the stall of Weemissfrankie in Barn 52 North at Hollywood Park Sunday morning and pronounced the 2-year-old filly ready for the $250,000-guaranteed Hollywood Starlet Saturday. The Grade I will be run at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.

The chestnut filly stood quietly as acupuncturist Bob Banever treated her back while veteran assistant and groom Lupe Perez held her. A goat named Pickles, her traveling companion, stood outside.

Weemissfrankie, winner of the Grade I Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita, seeks to become only the second filly to sweep the “triple crown” of 2-year-old filly stakes in Southern California. Excellent Meeting is the only horse to have accomplished that feat (1998).

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Reddam Seeks CashCall Futurity Gold

Stable Notes
Posted 12.01.11 at 12:09

J. Paul Reddam. © Benoit Photo

Owner J. Paul Reddam, whose consumer loans company sponsors the $750,000-guaranteed CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park December 17, would like to keep the winner’s share in his own pocket.

Reddam plans to start both Handsome Mike, purchased privately after a second-place finish in the Generous Stakes Sunday, and Basmati, runner-up in the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes in Louisiana November 19 for his wife Zillah, in the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.

Doug O’Neill trains both colts for Reddam and said that Corey Nakatani, who won the race last year on Comma to the Top, would probably return on Basmati.

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