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FAIRPLEX MARK RATZKY

He Tries to Go Distance

September 26, 2002|MARK RATZKY

The way Jimmy O took to these tight turns in wiring the field nine days ago in the Beau Brummel, you would have to think he poses another elusive target in today's $50,000 Gateway to Glory Stakes. While the gelding was very impressive in that race, now he's being asked to stretch his speed over 1 1/16 miles, and he figures to have a host of challengers hot on his trail.

After missing in his first three attempts at Hollywood Park this summer, Jimmy O was an instant success at Del Mar and romped home in late July, then ran up against one of the early favorites for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in Vindication.

Sent off at nearly 8-1 in the Beau Brummel at 6 1/2 furlongs, he shook loose of plenty of other speed types to get the job done that afternoon under Matt Garcia, who is back for an encore.

Pat Valenzuela, fresh from taking the riding titles at Hollywood Park and Del Mar, figures to attract plenty of attention as he makes his first appearance at this meet aboard Manhattan Express from the cozy rail slot.

This colt is still a maiden after four starts, but he's coming off a third at Del Mar and has distance experience. If they get carried away on the front end, he could be the spoiler with a late kick.

Pine For Java will be trying to rebound after coming up empty when well backed in the Beau Brummel.

The son of Pine Bluff never got into the spirit of things, but go back a race and there he is finishing nicely for second at Del Mar, five lengths clear of Jimmy O.

The price should be better this time around.

The picks: 1. Lil Bit Devilish 2. Saboya 3. George Bailey 4. Nipper Nelly 5. Grand Visions 6. Archdiesis 7. Tioga Lake 8. Segovia 9. Correct Meow 10. Comstock King 11. Jimmy O 12. Tenma.

Post time: 12:30 p.m.

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