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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• MANDELLA SEES RETURN TO FORM FOR INDY POINT
• CARACORTADO EYES BREEDERS’ CUP, ‘CHIPS’ ON HOLD
INDY POINT SET FOR JOHN HENRY AFTER ARLINGTON DEBACLE
In two U.S. starts, Indy Point has gone from first to last. The Argentine-bred chestnut won the restricted Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar on July 24 in his first North American start.
He followed that by finishing 13th and last, beaten 25 ¼ lengths, in the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 17. Next up: Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship at a mile and a quarter. Mandella feels Indy Point is up to the task and says you can throw the Million out.
“He tried to grab his quarters, but didn’t quite do it,” Mandella said. “He just banged them and they sored up. He was in traffic and climbing over horses a little bit.
“Consequently, it came right out with poulticing and he’s in good shape. We expect him to run very well here Sunday. I’d say you have to draw a line through the Arlington Million.”
A similar scenario presents itself for Slim Shadey, who won the John Henry last year, then went on a four-race skid after taking the Grade II San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 9.
In his most recent start, Slim Shadey prompted the pace in the Grade I Eddie Read at Del Mar July 20 before fading to eighth in a nine-horse field, beaten nearly 14 lengths.
“Last time he got into a speed duel, and they just went far too quick in front, so he weakened,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “But we freshened him up and like I’ve said before, he seems a much better horse on this race track. His best runs have been here.
“He seems to be doing well and he’s in good shape.”
The field for the John Henry, race eight of 10: Teaks North, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Holding Glory, Mike Smith, 6-1; Kettle Corn, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; Indy Point, Gary Stevens, 7-2; Soi Phet, Irving Orozco, 30-1; Tale of a Champion, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Affrettando, Kevin Krigger, 30-1; Vagabond Shoes, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Code of Conduct, Edwin Maldonado, 30-1; Old Time Hockey, Corey Nakatani, 20-1; Irish Surf, Jose Valdivia Jr., 20-1; Lucayan, Garrett Gomez, 6-1; Slim Shadey, Julien Leparoux, 12-1; and Huntsville, Alex Bisono, 20-1.
BREEDERS’ CUP AWAITS CARACORTADO; CHIPS ALL IN ON HOLD
It’s on to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for Caracortado, but plans for Chips All In were still on hold after his game nose victory in Friday’s Eddie D. Stakes in which Caracortado finished fourth, beaten only a length, in his first start since Jan. 8, 2012.
“He came out good so far,” trainer Jeff Mullins said of Chips All In early Saturday morning, adding, “Not yet,” when asked if a decision had been reached by his owners on whether to supplement the bay colt to the Breeders’ Cup race at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. The cost, according to Mullins, would be $120,000.
Trainer, breeder and part owner of Caracortado Mike Machowsky, meanwhile, was pleased and relieved with Caracortado’s performance after the rags-to-riches California-bred gelding returned to the races following a nagging ailment to his right front hoof that kept him out for nearly two years.
“He came back really good and the plan is to go on to the Breeders’ Cup,” Machowsky said. “The hoof looks like a million bucks this morning. He nicked himself a little on one leg, but no big deal.
“He got a little rank and got in a little tight at the three-eighths (pole) or whatever, but for being off that long, he ran huge.”
FINISH LINES: Promising maiden winner Schoolofhardrocks was scratched from today’s FrontRunner Stakes. “It’s not too significant,” trainer David Hofmans said of the unrevealed injury. “It’s a problem we’re working on.” . . . Bob Hess Jr. said well-regarded maiden Bardstown has been turned out and isn’t expected back at the races until next year. “It’s just a hiccup, a minor thing,” the trainer said of the 2-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic who was an eventful second in his debut at Del Mar on Aug. 25. “We’ll take our time; we think the world of him.” . . .'Sundays at The Corner’ handicapping seminar hosted by Tom Quigley will feature trainer Tom Proctor in the East Paddock Gardens at 12 noon . . . A total of 6,835 players signed up for ShowVivor yesterday, but only 3,422 remembered to make a selection, with 2,548 advancing into today’s second round.