It will be something old and something new for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin during the Turf Festival Nov. 28-30 at Hollywood Park.
McLaughlin said from New York Sunday veteran Shakis would conclude his racing career in the $400,000 Citation Handicap on Nov. 28, the same afternoon that budding star Hayaba seeks her first stakes victory in the $100,000-added Miesque for 2-year-old fillies.
Shakis, an Irish-bred 8-year-old horse, has won seven of 35 starts and earned $860,532 for owner-breeder Shadwell Farm. A two-time winner of the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, Shakis was a fast-closing second in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland and a troubled 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita in his last two starts.
“This is going to be his last try,” said McLaughlin, hoping Shakis can exit with his first Grade I victory in the 1 1/16-mile grass test. “He will stand at Shadwell in Kentucky next year.”
Shakis and Hayaba have both been stabled here since Oct. 27 with foreman Prakasan Surendran and exercise rider Javier Fragoso.
“Hayaba broke her maiden in New York and finished second to Laragh in the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland,” said McLaughlin of the royally-bred daughter of Storm Cat out of champion Golden Apples. Laragh finished third as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
McLaughlin said both horses would breeze here Friday under the supervision of his brother, Neal McLaughlin.
Other probable Citation starters include Ferneley, Galantas, Hyperbaric, Lord Admiral, Tybalt and Whatsthescript.
In other Turf Festival news, trainer Paddy Gallagher said Magical Fantasy, winner of the Grade I Del Mar Oaks and a troubled sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, would probably be supplemented to the $500,000 Matriarch for fillies and mares Nov. 30. Other probables for the Grade I test at one mile include defending champion Precious Kitten, Visit, Cocoa Beach, Roshani, Rosinka and Passified.
Trainer Todd Pletcher informed the racing office Cowboy Cal would be supplemented to the $500,000 Hollywood Derby Nov. 30 for $10,000. The 3-year-old colt has won four of five turf starts, most recently the Berry Station at Keeneland on Oct. 12 in his first outing since the Kentucky Derby. Other probable starters in the Grade I test at 1 ¼ miles on turf include Court Vision, Dixie Chatter, Gio Ponti, Madeo, Muny, Sailor’s Cap and Winchester. Fifteen Love and Midships head a list of possibles.
WIND CAPER TO MAKE CALIFORNIA BOW IN MOCCASIN
Wind Caper, who won her only start at Presque Isle Downs in August, will make her West Coast debut in the $100,000-added Moccasin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies here next Sunday. The seven-furlong test serves as a prep for the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet Dec. 13.
“Marc Ferrell, a new owner from the Anaheim area, bought her off that win in Pennsylvania,” said trainer Ron Ellis Sunday. Wind Caper won her first start by a neck at 5 ½ furlongs.
“She’s got natural speed and should be up close but also has a pedigree to go long,” said Ellis of the Kentucky-bred chestnut by Touch Gold out of the Summer Squall mare Wind Tunnel. “She worked a good seven-eighths the other day (1:26.60 Thursday).
“I wanted to run her in an allowance race but it didn’t fill,” said Ellis, who has named Jose Valdivia, Jr. to ride. Other probable starters include Mi Chiamano Mimi (Garrett Gomez), Palacio De Amor (Victor Espinoza), Will O Way (Rafael Bejarano) and Irish import Pasar Silbano (Mike Smith). Possibles include Evita Argentina, Wynning Ride, Malusita and either Broadway Hennessey or Montana Fields from the Jerry Hollendorfer stable.
Ellis said he also has high hopes for another 2-year-old filly, Navigator, second in her first start.
Ellis added that highly regarded 2-year-old colt Believe In Hope, third-place finisher in the Norfolk Stakes, has resumed training after being sidelined for three weeks with an illness. “He was pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup but ran a 104-degree fever and had an elevated white-blood count, but he‘s over that now,” said Ellis. “He’s gone from a Breeders’ Cup horse to a Derby horse.”
GALLAGHER SEEKS SKIRBALL-KENIS REPEAT
Trainer Paddy Gallagher, who won the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes with Hucking Hot last year, seeks to win the $65,000-added stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf Saturday for a second straight time with Miss Singhsix.
“She acts like she’ll go a mile and an eighth,” said Gallagher of the Irish-bred Singspiel filly, who finished fourth in the Harold Ramser Stakes at Santa Anita at one mile in her last start Oct. 11.
Gallagher said Hucking Hot was sold as a broodmare prospect earlier this year.
Other probable starters include Famous Ruby, Fire N’ Brimstone, Mohaka, Sensational Love, Set of Wings and You Lift Me Up.
SORENSON SAVORS FIRST HOLLYPARK WIN IN TWO YEARS
Jockey Danny Sorenson was moved by a wire-to-wire victory aboard Got tobe Rio in the first race Friday night, his first victory here in almost two years.
Sorenson, 50, missed 18 months of racing from March, 2007, until this September because of a hip injury suffered in a freak training spill here.
“It was nice to be back in the winner’s circle,” said Sorenson after his first win here since Dec. 15, 2006, aboard Warrensgildedtime. “Walther Solis (the winner’s trainer) said she was a nice filly but wasn’t changing leads. He said just to make sure she changed leads going for home.
“I went through two surgeries and months of rehab, and first getting back to riding at all was pleasurable,” said Sorenson, who won a race at Santa Anita in his third day back. “But we’re competitive and want to win, and to get live horses makes it all the better.
“Thirty years after breaking my maiden here in 1978, I come out of rehab and win another race,” added Sorenson. “I hope to keep doing that.”
MENA TO JOIN JOCKEY COLONY
Miguel Mena will be moving his tack from Kentucky to Southern California and begin riding here Dec. 2, agent Tony Matos said Sunday.
Mena, 22, has recorded 158 wins from 1,126 mounts this year for earnings of more than $5.2 million.
“He will come out as soon as the Churchill meet ends,” said Matos of the Peruvian-born rider. “He comes out of the same school as Edgar Prado, Alan Garcia and Rafael Bejarano.”
A member of a long line of Peruvian horsemen, the Lima-born 5’ 5”, 110-pound rider
started as a groom and hot walker at 12. He won his first race in Peru in 2003 before moving his tack to Florida in 2004. He moved to Chicago until mid-2006, when he went to Kentucky.
His biggest wins this year came aboard Wild Gams in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes and Tiz Now Tiz Then in the $250,000 Iowa Derby. He also enjoyed a five-win day on May 10 at Churchill Downs.
FINISH LINES — The guarantee on the Pick Six at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30 — closing day of the Turf Festival — has been lowered to $500,000 from $750,000 due to the difficult economic times.