Saturday, December 06, 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2008) — Jockey Michael Baze, who rode Romance is Diane to victory a year ago, will aim for a repeat aboard 117-high weight Model in Sunday’s $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Model, winner of the It’s In the Air Stakes here while making her most recent start at the Bayakoa distance of 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, seeks her first graded stakes win in the Grade II event.

The 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway was only beaten one length by Horse of the Year candidate Zenyatta in the Grade II Clement L. Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar in August and was also second in the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland two starts back.

Model, owned by Abergwaun Farm and trained by Neil Drysdale, will break from the inside post in the field of eight fillies and mares, which lines up as follows:

Model, Michael Baze up, 117; Spenditallbaby, Mike Smith, 114; Lady Digby, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116; Baroness Thatcher, Victor Espinoza, 116; Double Trouble, Rafael Bejarano, 115; Briecat, Jon Court, 112; Wake Up Maggie, Tyler Baze, 115; Bai and Bai, Aaron Gryder, 116.

Brazilian-bred Double Trouble, a winner of seven of 19 starts, returns from a five-month layoff in the Bayakoa. Five of her wins have come on turf, but she won the Grade I Santa Maria Handicap on Santa Anita’s synthetic track at 1 1/16 miles in February.

Baroness Thatcher, a 4-year-old daughter of Johannesburg, has run sprint distances in ten of eleven starts since setting the pace and fading in the 2007 American Oaks, but she won her most recent race at 1 1/16 miles in allowance company at Keeneland. Overall, she is two-for-three at the Bayakoa distance.

Eastern shipper Lady Digby, a winner of four of 14 starts, will test Cushion Track after making eleven consecutive starts on turf. Her biggest win came in the Grade III All Along Handicap at Colonial Downs in June.

Irish-bred Wake Up Maggie won the Long Beach Handicap on turf here in May and the Adoration Handicap on Del Mar’s synthetic surface in August before finishing fifth in the Spinster

Spenditallbaby and Bai and Bai finished second and third, respectively, behind Model in It’s In the Air, while Briecat enters with a two-race win streak, the most recent in the Chandler on turf at Turf Paradise.

The Bayakoa will run as the eighth of nine races on Sunday’s program at Hollywood Park. First post is at 12:30 p.m.

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