Turf Paradise is in Arizona, but for the Memorial Day weekend at least, the name might be more apropos for Hollywood Park.
The Inglewood track has three competitive stakes races scheduled for the grass course, starting with today's 45th running of the $60,000 Will Rogers Handicap.
The Will Rogers, whose previous winners include Round Table in 1957 and Swaps in 1955, will cover 1 1/16 miles. Eleven horses are scheduled to go postward with the favorite likely to be Santa Anita Derby runner-up Fast Account.
Sunday, nine 3-year-old fillies will test the rub of the green in the 34th running of the $100,000-added Honeymoon Handicap, which will also cover 1 1/16 miles.
Monday's race, the Hollywood Invitational Handicap, has less tradition, but it will lure a quality six-horse field with a $300,000 purse. The prize won't come cheap, however, since the winner will have to negotiate a grueling 1 1/2-mile course.
Heading the field in the 17th renewal of the Invitational will be Mrs. Howard B. Keck's Prince True, with Chris McCarron up. Trained by Charlie Whittingham, who has won this race six times, Prince True, will draw high weight of 125 pounds.
Racing Notes John Henry, racing's all-time leading money winner and three-time winner of the Hollywood Invitational, returned to the track Wednesday for the first time since having a splint fired on his left foreleg April 1. The 10-year-old gelding, who set a stakes record of 2:25 in winning the $300,000 Hollywood Invitational last year, "worked a quarter (of a mile) in :24 after going the first eighth in :12," said trainer Ron McAnally after the Hollywood Park work. "Then he galloped out (three furlongs) in :37. I was very pleased." McAnally said the 1984 Horse of the Year could return to competition July 4 in Hollywood's American Handicap. . . . With Laffit Pincay scheduled to be at Cherry Hill, N.J., to ride Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck in the Jersey Derby, Eddie Delahoussaye will draw the mount on Both Ends Burning in the Invitational. . . . Chris McCarron and Delahoussaye lead the current meeting in stakes wins, having ridden four apiece. . . . Rafael Meza, in second place in the jockey standings, started Friday's card in a 1-for-23 slump. However, Meza wasn't worried. Indeed, he enjoyed a one-hour nap before the first race. "You can't do anything about it," said the 27-year-old native of Tijuana. "If the horses don't run or you get in trouble, you have to take what comes. I'm not worried. It evens out. Despite his relaxed attitude, his drought continued as he went 0 for 6 Friday.