On Turf or in the Mud, He Has Surface Appeal

If the anticipated rain comes, a short field in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap could become even shorter.

A switch to the main track could lead to some scratches in the six-horse lineup and, should the Grade III remain on the turf, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Truly A Judge scratch.

No matter the surface, Gondolieri is the one to catch. A 4-year-old gelding bred in Argentina, he set a fast and pressured pace when a close third in his U.S. debut on the dirt in the Tokyo City Handicap nearly two months ago.

Then he got away with much softer fractions when back on the turf and wound up losing by a neck to longshot Century City in the Arcadia Handicap on April 6.


Trained by Ron McAnally for owner Nelson Bunker Hunt, Gondolieri might be better served if he’s allowed to open up instead of slowing things down to a crawl as happened in the Arcadia. Frank Alvarado, a regular on the Northern California circuit, will be down to ride the son of Gold Tribute.

The other entrants in the 1 1/16-mile race are Touch Of The Blues, who has only one win in 10 starts since the start of 2002; Blue Steller, Freefourinternet and Leprechaun Kid.

Race of the day: The $100,000 Three Chimneys Juvenile for 2-year-olds is always one of the more interesting contests on the Kentucky Derby undercard and this year is no different. The five-furlong race attracted six horses who were winners first time out and is part of a pick six with a carry-over of nearly $68,000.

One for the road: Roses In May, a son of Devil His Due, has trained well for his debut for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Dale Romans and should do well his first time out in the 11th at Churchill Downs, a seven-furlong maiden race. This might be some consolation for the Ramseys after Ten Cents A Shine gets drilled in the Derby.

Exotically speaking: A pick four using Early Snow, Smart Again and Brahma Bull in the sixth, Forward March, Albert G and Rock Cod Johnny in the seventh, Gondolieri, Blue Steller and Truly A Judge (if the race is run on dirt) and singling Pirate’s Fleet in the ninth.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/20. Money: Previous day/meet total: $12.60/$116. Total money bet: $136.