Horsemen who made Hollywood Park their primary training headquarters are adjusting to the new landscape in Southern California, dictated by the closing of Hollywood Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer
, who comes off the best year of his incredible career, is one of only five men to record more than 6,000 career victories and has enjoyed remarkable success training out of Hollywood Park.
"If you’re not flexible and you can’t adjust, then you can’t be in this business anyway,” he reasoned. “We’ll be as flexible as we can and adjust as well as we can. If we do a good job then we’ll be all right. If we don’t, then they’ll run us out of here.”
Told that was unlikely, Hollendorfer said the current Santa Anita main track, under the direction of former Hollywood superintendent Dennis Moore, is more than holding its own.
“So far, it seems OK,” Hollendorfer said, “but we’ve just been here since the 22nd (of December), so I can’t honestly tell you.”Richard Mandella
, who has trained at both Santa Anita and Hollywood, is “very happy with everything. I’m happy to be here, and it’s exciting to look forward to the New Year. Santa Anita has never looked better.”Mike Puype
, trainer of two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection among other stakes winners, faces minimal, if any, adjustments.
“I’ve trained at Santa Anita, so it won’t be any adjustment at all,” he said. “With Dennis Moore spearheading the race track expansion at Los Alamitos, I think that’s good. I think he’ll put a great track together.
“We need good places to train horses, and his coming to Santa Anita seems to have helped already. The racing’s been fair. There’s not been a front-runner (winning) every race.
“I think you’re looking at better things happening right now.”