Successful in seven of her first 12 starts while based in northern California, Work The Crowd showed she belongs in this part of the state at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
On the lead every step of the way in the $109,700 Honeymoon Handicap, the 3-year-old Political Ambition filly won by eight lengths in stakes-record time of 1:39 3/5 for the 1 1/16 miles. Hot Option set the old record of 1:40 1/5 in 1989.
Ridden for the first time by Chris McCarron, Work The Crowd paid $18 and is now perfect in two starts on the grass. Her task was made easier when Rabiadella, the only other front-runner in the race, was scratched.
"We were out of options with her up north," trainer Greg Gilchrist said. "I told Chris not to take a whole lot of hold of her, that she was really a free-running filly. She bounced away from there running and at the half-mile pole, I knew we were in pretty good shape."
A length in front after a 1:10 2/5 six furlongs, Work The Crowd pulled away when asked by McCarron and covered the last sixteenth of a mile in 6 1/5 seconds.
"She had a real good turn of foot, too, when I asked her to run," McCarron said. "She didn't surprise me in that she won, but it did surprise me how easily she won. She got tested for a little more class today, but she passed the test.
Runner-up Malli Star, making her first start in California after winning four of six on the turf in Florida, finished a length ahead of Fancy 'N Fabulous. Dancing Mirage, unbeaten in two tries and making her stakes and turf debut, was fifth as the 9-5 favorite.
"I don't know the reason, but today she kind of got off the bridle down the backside," jockey Chris Antley said of Dancing Mirage. "So, I had to nudge on her earlier than I should have. I guess we'll have to regroup and come again."
The California Horse Racing Board issued complaints against three more trainers Saturday for positive tests for the prohibited drug scopolamine.
Richard Mandella, who had an earlier positive for Water Prospector, had another with Wildly Joyous, who broke his maiden at first asking on April 8 at Santa Anita. The original positive was reported by Truesdail Laboratories and it was confirmed in a split sample at Ohio State. A hearing is scheduled before the Hollywood Park stewards on June 18-19.
The other trainers who were issued complaints were Lewis Cenicola and Bill Shoemaker. Unprectible Gal, trained by Cenicola, tested positive after finishing second in the fourth race on April 6 and his hearing is scheduled for June 25.
Forum Club, trained by Shoemaker at the time, tested positive after finishing fourth in the fifth race on April 7. Shoemaker's hearing is scheduled for June 26.
Mandella, Ron McAnally, Mark Hennig, Willard Proctor and standardbred trainer James Grundy, awaiting hearings for the earlier positives, have said that the presence of scopolamine was due to contaminated feed or bedding.
Star Of Cozzene, the winner of six stakes in 1993, including the Arlington Million, will make his first start since Nov. 28 in today's fourth race, a $55,000 allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Trained by Hennig, the 6-year-old Cozzene horse is unbeaten in two starts on the Hollywood Park turf course.
Gary Stevens, who rode Star Of Cozzene in his first five races of last year, is assigned to ride today.
Horse Racing Notes
Hollywood Wildcat is the 8-5 morning-line favorite against four rivals in the $106,000 Hawthorne Handicap today. . . . Rabiadella was scratched from the Honeymoon because of of a sore throat. "It's nothing serious," trainer Mike Orman said, "but she also missed a couple of days work when the track surface (at Santa Anita) was changed. It's a bit too loose and sandy for her." . . . An all-star team of jockeys and celebrities will participate in a rodeo penning competition to benefit the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund. The event will be held on June 6 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Tickets are $10 at the door and start time is 6 p.m. Details: (310) 550-4542.