HOLLYWOOD PARK : Kikala Is Morning-Line Favorite in Field of 12 for Dahlia Handicap
Twelve fillies and mares are entered in today’s $117,400 Dahlia Handicap, the closing-day feature at Hollywood Park. Post time today is 11 a.m., 90 minutes earlier than usual.
Kikala, who was ninth in the Matriarch, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile race on the turf. Pat Valenzuela replaces Francisco Mena on the 5-year-old Kalaglow mare, who hasn’t won in three starts this year. However, she was second, beaten by a half-length by Kostroma at 21-1 in the Las Palmas Handicap Oct. 21 at Santa Anita.
The 7-2 second choice is Campagnarde, who fell when bothered by Island Jamboree in the Matriarch. A 4-year-old Oak Dancer filly who won her first two American starts at Del Mar, Campagnarde will be ridden by Corey Black, her fifth jockey in as many races.
Others in the field include Elegance, who had traffic troubles while finishing seventh in the Matriarch; Riverlyph, a maiden; Southern Tradition; Lilian Bayliss; Tres Chic; Gaelic Bird; Appealing Missy; Aloha Corrine; Re Toss, and Luna Elegante.
An impressive winner against allowance horses Nov. 21 before the Matriarch, Elegance has come back and trained well for Jack Van Berg. Most recently, she went five furlongs in 59 2/5 over the turf course. Frank Alvarado will ride.
Re Toss, who drew inside only Luna Elegante in the large field, is a Hollywood Park specialist. The 4-year-old Egg Toss filly has two victories and a second in three starts locally. Corey Nakatani will again be aboard for trainer Henry Moreno.
Entries were taken Monday morning for Thursday’s opening-day program at Santa Anita and 11 3-year-olds entered the feature, the $112,500 Malibu Stakes.
Topping the field in the seven-furlong Malibu, the first leg of the Charles H. Strub Series, are Olympio and Dinard, who is making a comeback.
First or second in nine of 10 starts this year, Olympio will be shortening up for Ron McAnally after winning the 1 1/8-mile Hollywood Derby on turf last month. Olympio worked seven furlongs in 1:26 last Friday at Hollywood Park and regular rider Eddie Delahoussaye has the call.
Winner of the Santa Anita Derby in his last start, Dinard will return for trainer Richard Lundy after having been injured while preparing for the Kentucky Derby. The gelded son of Strawberry Road has had a series of fast workouts at San Luis Rey Downs and has already shown he runs well fresh. He broke his maiden in his first start last Dec. 26, two races before Pleasant Tap won the Malibu.
Chris Antley has the call on Dinard, who suffered his only defeat to Olympio in the seven-furlong San Vicente Breeders’ Cup Stakes last Feb. 10, but there could be a rider change by Thursday. Pat Valenzuela, who recently signed a six-figure contract to ride for Allen Paulson, Dinard’s owner, is seeking an injunction to get a five-day suspension stayed. Valenzuela was suspended after he was dropped from second to third aboard Brainstorming in Saturday’s third race and the suspension is due to begin Thursday.
Chris McCarron, who rode Dinard in all of his other starts, will ride Letthebighossroll for the first time in the Malibu. He was third at 3-5 odds in the On Trust Handicap Nov. 28 in his last appearance.
The rest of the field and their riders: Apollo, Kent Desormeaux; Quintana, Joe Steiner; Multiengine, Gary Stevens; Repriced, Alex Solis; Another Review, Laffit Pincay; Haky, Corey Black; Charmonnier, Corey Nakatani, and What A Spell, Frank Alvarado.
Horse Racing Notes
No one was perfect in the Pick Six Monday, so there will be a mandatory payout today. The carryover is $64,419.52. . . . Sam Who, who was claimed for $12,500 by trainer Sandy Shulman on Dec. 5, won $50,000 Monday, upsetting heavily favored Paisano Pete in a 5 1/2-furlong turf race. This was the second victory in the last three starts for the former stakes winner, who had gone 26 months without winning.
All was fine with A.P. Indy the day after he scored his first stakes victory by a neck over Dance Floor in the $500,000 Hollywood Futurity. “Everything’s fine,” said trainer Neil Drysdale. “He came out of the race beautifully.” . . . Jockey Frank Alvarado swept the final three races Monday, winning with Bucking Bird and longshots Fax News and He’s Splendid.
Heading into the final day, Pat Valenzuela leads Kent Desormeaux in the jockey standings, 34-33. . . . Ron McAnally holds an 11-10 lead over Shulman and Darrell Vienna in the trainers’ race. Shulman won’t have any starters today, but Vienna will have three and McAnally one.