HOLLYWOOD PARK : She’s Tops Grows Up, Wins Railbird
How Richard Mandella felt about She’s Tops was made clear by where the trainer ran her for the first time.
He started the daughter of Capote in last July’s Landaluce, the only stakes race that Hollywood Park offers for 2-year-old fillies.
She’s Tops finished a distant fourth, and although she broke her maiden in her next start two weeks later, she didn’t live up to her advance billing during the rest of the summer.
Given several months off, the Kentucky-bred has come back a different filly.
Owned by Hollywood Park board member Herman Sarkowsky, She’s Tops is perfect in two 1992 starts and won her first stakes, a 1 1/4-length victory over Race The Wild Wind in the $111,500 Railbird Stakes Saturday at Hollywood Park.
After staying off the pace under Kent Desormeaux, the 5-2 third choice slipped through a narrow opening along the rail to win in 1:22 3/5 for the seven furlongs. She’s Tops paid $7.40 and earned $66,500 for Sarkowsky.
Race The Wild Wind, the 7-5 favorite who spotted the winner seven pounds (121-114), wasn’t helped by her inside post position and wound up three-quarters of a length in front of Magical Maiden, the 2-1 second choice, who stumbled badly at the start.
“The hardest part was going to the gate,” Desormeaux said. “She never walks a step. She runs two races--one before going to the gate and one after. She’s picture perfect, but crazy as they come.
“Dick Mandella’s line to me before the race was, ‘You fooled your wife (Sonia) into marrying you. Now, give this filly the same line going to the gate.
“She broke like a shot. She threw her head back and allowed the other fillies to go by her. When they all rushed by her, I angled in. She saw the pack in front of her and ran after them.”
Mandella, who also trains Santa Anita Oaks winner Golden Treat, said She’s Tops needed time to mature last year.
“When we got her to Del Mar, she got stiff and sore,” he said. “She wasn’t doing well, so we decided to give her a few months off so she could grow up.
“It was nice to see her relax so well. Kent got her back because she cooperated and did it nicely. That wasn’t the biggest hole in the world (along the rail) and it was nice to see her come through there.”
The defeat ended a three-race winning streak for Race The Wild Wind, although it might have been a different result if she had drawn a different post position.
“I had to let her run out of there more than I wanted to,” jockey Chris McCarron said. “I could have been more conservative down the backside (if outside). But, she ran well. She was giving a lot of weight to the winner.”
Gettin’ Air was fourth, then came Laurasia, Second Stop, Wicked Wit, No Mecourtney and I Aim High. Jetinwith Kennedy was scratched.
Laffit Pincay won five races on a Hollywood Park program for the 12th time.
Three of the victories came in tandem with trainer Bill Spawr. Pincay won the fourth with Balzac’s Cope, the ninth on Scaramuccio and completed the day with J.B. Water in the 10th. Pincay’s other victories came with Taps N Bats in the third and Mema’am in the sixth.
In a letter to California Horse Racing Board chairman Henry Chavez, Hollywood Park president Don Robbins asked the CHRB to conduct a thorough investigation into the events leading up to the boycott of the entry box the first week of the meeting in protest of the proposed Friday night racing cards.
Robbins wrote that the boycott was illegal and that the board should take action against any “licensees who are determined to have violated the board’s rules and/or horse racing law in conjunction with the boycott.”
At its monthly meeting Friday, the CHRB voted to conduct such an investigation, agreeing also to look at its March 27 decision to authorize Friday night racing and cross-simulcasting of harness and quarter horse races at Hollywood Park.
Enough entries were taken to fill what was to be the first Friday night card May 1, but the Los Angeles riots wiped out that program and three others. With the exception of a twilight program July 3, Hollywood Park abandoned Friday nights before racing resumed May 6.
While it was requested by Hollywood Park, the investigation was endorsed by several other racing associations and supported by many horsemen who attended the Friday meeting. Among the trainers on hand were Gary Jones, Bobby Frankel, Vladimir Cerin, Bruce Headley, Brian Sweeney, Darrell Vienna, Ted West and Ron Ellis.
Horsemen said that they are not being treated as equals when it comes to decision making, that the CHRB is a puppet of track management and that it is their right to decide where and when to run their horses.
Horse Racing Notes
Only Yours is the 8-5 morning line favorite for the $160,800 Gamely Handicap today. Richard Cross trains the 4-year-old filly, who will be ridden by Chris McCarron. Cross will also saddle Silvered and Bobby Frankel will have two entrants, Guiza and Metamorphose, the 2-1 second choice. Vielle Vigne and Alcando round out the field. . . . For the record: The Beverly Hills Handicap will be run June 28. . . . J.F. Williams, the most impressive maiden winner of the meeting, will try for his second consecutive victory in the third race today, a $32,000 allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs for California-breds. Kent Desormeaux will ride J.F. Williams, who will break from the rail in the field of seven.