INGLEWOOD, CALIF., JUNE 2 -- Sunday Silence returns to the races Sunday, nearly alone but with the eyes of the racing world upon him.
He will face just two opponents in his first race since he won the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 4 and wrapped up 1989 horse of the year honors over Easy Goer.
His 4-year-old debut comes in the $300,000-added Californian at Hollywood Park, some six months after he had arthroscopic knee surgery to remove bone chips.
"He's plenty fit," said trainer Charlie Whittingham, who co-owns Sunday Silence with Arthur B. Hancock and Ernest Gaillard.
Assigned 126 pounds, the same weight he carried in beating Easy Goer in last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Sunday Silence will be ridden by his regular jockey, Chris McCarron. The distance is 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up.
Others entered are Stylish Winner, who will be ridden by Corey Black and carry 115 pounds, and Charlatan III, who will be ridden by Julio Garcia and carry 111.
After he won the Derby and Preakness, Sunday Silence lost the Belmont Stakes to Easy Goer by eight lengths, so he needed the Breeders' Cup Classic victory to win the Eclipse Award.
His recent workouts indicate he's back to form. He went a mile in 1:34 3/5 on May 26 and a half mile Thursday in a quick :46 3/5.
In his career, Sunday Silence has eight wins and four seconds in 12 starts with earnings of $4,600,154.
One of Sunday Silence's second-place finishes came at Hollywood Park last July when, as the 1-to-5 favorite, he was upset by Prized in the Swaps Stakes.
Stylish Winner and Charlatan III have only one win between them since 1988. Stylish Winner won the On Trust Handicap at Hollywood Park last November.