Weekend Racing at Hollywood Park : Only Four Are Entered in $300,000 Californian

Times Staff Writer

Sunday’s $300,000-added Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park will be short on numbers, but the four-horse assembly will be reasonably long on quality.

Heading the quartet will be Fred W. Hooper’s Precisionist, who set a track record for a mile on dirt in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap May 19.

The Californian will cover a mile on the turf, but Precisionist, with Chris McCarron up, should have little trouble moving over to the green. Indeed, his chief rival, Lord at War, the impressive winner of the Santa Anita Handicap, appears to be at his best on the main track.

Nevertheless, trainer Charlie Whittingham is returning Lord at War, the Argentine-bred speedster, to the grass, despite a disappointing fourth-place finish in his first U.S. turf outing, the Century Handicap May 5.


If a speed duel develops, the race may set up for Whittingham’s other entry, Greinton. Summa Stable’s Bronzed is the other entry.

The Racing Board granted permission for Hollywood Park to run the Californian as Sunday’s 10th race. With a short field, patrons will be restricted to win, place and exacta betting.

Racing Notes Jockey Pat Valenzuela, 22, has developed a respiratory problem and will miss the rest of the meeting. According to Valenzuela’s agent, Jerry Ingordo, the Colorado native has had a lung problem since boyhood, and the present severe smog has aggravated the condition. . . . Jockey Fernando Toro, who suffered broken ribs and a bruised liver and kidneys in a fall last Saturday, has been released from Centinela Hospital Medical Center. He is expected to be out of action for at least two months. . . . Basic Image, a three-year-old colt by Gummo out of Desert Law, broke his maiden in Friday’s first race. Basic Image is owned by Marje Everett, Hollywood Park’s chief operating officer. . . . Today’s Hollypark patrons will be able to wager on the Belmont Stakes. The gates open at 11 a.m. The Belmont is scheduled to be run at approximately 2:35 p.m. PDT. . . Today’s feature, the $100,000-added Cinema Handicap, to be run over 1 1/8 miles on the turf, has drawn a field of 10, including Image of Greatness, Turkoman and Pine Belt--the surprise winner of the Will Rogers Handicap.