Ron McAnally, a runaway leader in the trainer standings and a winner of four stakes races, has a good chance to add to his totals this afternoon at Hollywood Park.
In the first of three stakes on the holiday program, McAnally has 6-5 favorite Apremont in the $75,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes and 2-1 choice Victory Stripes in the $250,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap.
The Hall of Fame trainer isn't represented, however, in the day's most lucrative race. Majorien is the 5-2 favorite against eight others in the $400,000 Charlie Whittingham Handicap.
In the Barrera, Apremont will be trying to win for the fourth time in five starts and remain unbeaten in three races at seven furlongs. Regular rider Chris McCarron, who missed Apremont's last race because of a broken heel, will be back aboard the swift son of Silver Deputy. Apremont's opponents are National Saint, Love That Red, O'Rey Fantasma and High Wire Act.
Victory Stripes, winner of the Hawthorne Handicap earlier in the meet, will be going for her third consecutive victory in the Milady, the final prep race for the Vanity Handicap later in the meeting.
Victory Stripes, also ridden by McCarron, figures to get competition from Gourmet Girl, Keeper Hill and A Lady From Dixie, an improving half-sister to The Wicked North who has won three in a row.
Trainer Neil Drysdale--looking for his second consecutive win in the Whittingham, formerly called the Hollywood Turf Handicap--will send out Majorien, who has been first and second in his two starts this year. The 5-year-old, English-bred has won five of 15 races and the Whittingham's 1 1/4-mile distance shouldn't be a problem for him.
Completing the field, in post-position order, are Special Quest, Magellan, River Bay--also a Hollywood Turf Cup winner--Star Performance, Shelter Cove, Ward Hunt, Astarabad and Alvo Certo.
Horse Racing Notes
Son Of A Pistol, the 7-10 favorite, won the the $103,390 Los Angeles Handicap against only three opponents Sunday. Ridden by Alex Solis, he got up to beat 5-1 shot Men's Exclusive by a neck in 1:08 for the six furlongs. "He's as game as they come," said Solis. "He's a hard-trying horse and he was feeling fantastic today. [Pace-setting Men's Exclusive] hung in there tough and really showed some fight, but my horse, like always, gave 100% and he got there." Son Of A Pistol, a 7-year-old gelding with only 16 starts, won for the 10th time--and remained unbeaten in three races at Hollywood Park. Ray Of Sunshine was third, three-quarters of a length behind Men's Exclusive and Orville N Wilbur's, the 19-10 second choice, was last. Driggs Retreat and Majorbigtimesheet were scratched. . . . Queen Douna, much improved since moving to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's barn, went wire-to-wire in defeating five opponents in the $150,000 Estrapade Stakes at Hollywood Park. The 6-year-old Kaldoun mare, ridden by David Flores, won by five lengths over 9-10 favorite Blending Element and covered the 1 1/2 miles on turf in 2:27. She paid $22.80. . . . Jockey Paul Atkinson will begin riding in Northern California this week. . . . Old Trieste's time of 1:46 2/5 in winning the Californian on Saturday was the fastest in the race since Spectacular Bid won in 1:45 2/5.