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Corona Lake Puts Mandella Back in Winner’s Circle

TIMES STAFF WRITER

For the second time in about six months, Hollywood Park offered the Desert Stormer Handicap and the ending was a little familiar.

Trainer Richard Mandella won it with Advancing Star last Nov. 8 when the race was the first event on Breeders’ Cup Day and he was back in the winner’s circle Saturday with Corona Lake.

The 4-5 favorite in a field reduced to five after Fleeting Image and Tomorrows Sunshine were scratched, the 4-year-old Storm Cat filly overtook Lavender in the final sixteenth of a mile to win by a length in 1:14 3/5 for the 6 1/2 furlongs.

In winning for the third consecutive time for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, Corona Lake improved her record to six wins in nine starts. She picked up $64,020 to boost her earnings to $226,830.

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“She’s a good filly,” Mandella said. “She’s learned her lessons well. She’s pretty versatile because she can handle turf or dirt. We’ll just see where our best chances are with her.”

Lavender, who was trying to remain unbeaten in three starts at Hollywood Park, was six clear of Grab The Prize, then came Tempest Cat and Finite E.F.

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Looking for his initial U.S. stakes victory, Rajpoute is the 9-5 favorite against six others in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap today at Hollywood Park.

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Owned by Sid Craig and trained by Ron McAnally, the 4-year-old French bred colt will be ridden again by Chris McCarron. He was aboard when Rajpoute ran sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in his American debut last Nov. 8 and rode him when he won by seven at Santa Anita against five allowance rivals last month.

A winner of three of seven overseas, Rajpoute has trained well since his victory, including two bullet drills on the Santa Anita grass course.

Completing the field in the Inglewood, which is run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, is 5-2 second choice Fantastic Fellow, defending champion El Angelo, Via Lombardia, Percutant, Sharekann and Top Glory.

El Angelo, owned by C.N. and Carol Ray’s Evergreen Farm and trained by Jenine Sahadi, will be trying to become the fifth horse to win the Grade III race in back-to-back years. Steinlen was the last to do so in 1988-89.

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Two races before the Inglewood, Taylor May will try to repeat in the $70,000 Bel’s Starlet Stakes at a mile on the turf.

Trained by Mike Smith for owner Thelma Taylor, Taylor May rallied from off the pace to win the ‘Starlet by 2 1/2 lengths last year at nearly 6-1, then went to the sidelines.

She returned in the Time To Leave Handicap earlier this month at Santa Anita and finished last, but that was a sprint and she is more effective around two turns. Gary Stevens, who rode her in the race in 1997, is back aboard today.

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Fleeting Image, who will be making her first start on the grass, is the 5-2 choice on Russ Hudak’s morning line.

Horse Racing Notes

Another Star, a 4-year-old son of Cozzene, equaled the track record for seven furlongs when breaking his maiden in the sixth race on Saturday. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Amerman and trained by Ron Ellis, the 4-5 favorite covered the seven furlongs in 1:20 2/5, tying the mark set by Memo on July 4, 1994 and Hal’s Pal on Nov. 6, 1997. Another Star, who was ridden by McCarron, had been second in his first two starts.

The final on-track attendance on Friday night was 32,921, the largest opening-day crowd here since the start of inter-track wagering in Los Angeles in 1991. The figure was up 1% from last year when 32,581 showed up on opening night. . . . Peintre Celebre, who was scheduled to make his first start of 1998 in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp today, has been retired after suffering a tendon injury. The winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1997, Peintre Celebre was Europe’s Horse of the Year. He will be a stallion at Coolmore Stud in Ireland. . . . Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye will begin a three-day suspension Wednesday after being disqualified on Emimag in the ninth race last Monday at Santa Anita. . . . Jockey Matt Garcia will start a similar suspension on Friday after being disqualified from first to second on Pillary in the first race of the meeting.

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