Ron McAnally, who has done wonders with Argentine imports Bayakoa, Festin and Paseana in recent years, might be unveiling another South American star today at Hollywood Park.
Potrichal, purchased by McAnally for owner Tadahiro Hotehama, will make her U.S. debut in the eighth race, a $41,000 allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
A 4-year-old daughter of Potrillazo, Potrichal arrives with a fancy record and a hefty reputation. She has won three of her six starts and is perfect in two tries on the grass. In her native land, she was compared favorably with Paseana, who has won five in a row and is the queen of the older-filly-and-mare division on dirt.
To be ridden by Chris McCarron today, Potrichal has been with McAnally for about four months and has worked well. She went a mile in 1:39 1/5 11 days ago and, in her most recent drill, went five furlongs in 59 3/5 Saturday morning.
"She's worked well and I understand that she wasn't a good work horse down there," McAnally said. "But, her coat right now doesn't look as good as it did when she arrived, and I'd like to see it looking better. She's got her winter coat on her now. She thinks she's going to be cold.
Distance certainly won't be a problem for Potrichal. She won a Group II stake by 10 lengths at 1 3/8 miles on the dirt and was a four-length winner going 1 1/4 miles against 14 opponents in a Group I race on turf. She won by five lengths in her other grass race.
Potrichal figures to be heavily favored in her local debut, but McAnally isn't ready to look beyond today's race.
"My philosophy has always been to take them one step at a time," he said. "She was a quality filly down there, but we'll just go one race at a time."
Tight Spot is scheduled to return to the track this morning, only a week after it was feared that his career was over.
McAnally said Wednesday that the 1991 Eclipse Award winner will probably do a little jogging today, wearing a pad to protect his bruised foot.
When Tight Spot, who has won 10 of his 11 races on turf, came up lame last week, a broken right ankle was feared. He previously had broken both ankles.
But X-rays didn't look much different from ones taken six to eight months before, according to McAnally. Tight Spot's right foot was checked and a deep bruise was discovered.
"He's walking around the barn," McAnally said. "We've been tubbing (the foot) and poulticing it and he's making progress."
Although he missed his scheduled start in last Sunday's Inglewood Handicap, which was won by Golden Pheasant, Tight Spot could return to defend his title in the $200,000 American Handicap July 4.
Race The Wild Wind was favored to win the first start of her career last July 7.
A daughter of Sunny's Halo, she had the clockers raving about her workouts and was bet down to 13-10 under McCarron.
Instead of rolling to an easy victory, though, Race The Wild Wind struggled home fourth and, bleeding from the nostrils, had to be vanned from the track.
"She bled very badly," McAnally said "Doc (Jack) Robbins recommended we turn her out for three months."
Since returning, she has been treated with Lasix, and the 3-year-old filly hasn't done much wrong. She finished third in her comeback Jan. 26 behind Moonlight Elegance and China Bell, and since has strung together three consecutive victories.
Owned by Brandon and Marianne Chase, the Kentucky-bred beat maidens by seven lengths Feb. 23, won an allowance race by eight March 26 in her first venture around two turns, then, in her stakes debut, defeated Santa Anita Oaks winner Golden Treat by half a length in the Fantasy April 12 at Oaklawn Park.
Freshened since then, Race The Wild Wind will try to extend her winning streak to four in the $100,000 Railbird Stakes on Saturday.
"She's coming up to the race very well," McAnally said. "She's done everything well so far this year, and she's a lovely filly to watch. She has a wonderful stride."
McAnally also said he has no regrets about passing the Kentucky Oaks.
"There wasn't much time between the Fantasy and that race, and we didn't want to really start hammering on her," he said. "I think it was the best thing for her."
Horse Racing Notes
Tadahiro Hotehama, the president of the Japan Racing Assn., also owns Brought To Mind. . . . The six fillies and mares that will oppose Potrichal today are Nat's Lea, Lady Blessington, Fappies Cosy Miss, Garden Gal, Kikala and Ballet Troupe. . . . Hector Torres, who won two races Wednesday, one of them an $84.80-surprise aboard Pretentious Annie, will lose his five-pound apprentice allowance after Friday's card. . . . Pat Valenzuela will begin a five-day suspension Friday. He was disqualified aboard Edict in Sunday's third race