Thursday, November 27, 2008
SPEEDY CALIFORNIA FLAG TRIES TO REBOUND IN TURF EXPRESS
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 27, 2008) — California Flag, who led before tiring in the final eighth to finish tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, will try to bounce back in the $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express on Saturday’s second day of the three-day Turf Festival at Hollywood Park.
The gray/roan gelding won the Morvich Handicap and three of his last four starts preceding the Breeders’ Cup for Hi Card Ranch and trainer Brian Koriner. He will break from the outside post in a ten-horse field for the Turf Express, which will be run at six furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course. The field for the 23rd running of the Grade III event lines up as follows from the rail out:
Delta Storm, claimed on behalf of owner Michael House by trainer Mike Mitchell for $40,000 in May at Churchill Downs, won the Pirate’s Bounty in his third start for his new connections before finishing fourth in the Grade I Ancient Title on the main track at Santa Anita. Most recently, he finished second to Hurry Up Austin in the Kangaroo Court at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
New Zealand-bred Majestic Diamond and Brazilian-bred Joe Bravo finished one-two here in an allowance race at the Turf Express distance on Nov. 6. The former, making his North American debut for trainer Leonard Powell, was overlooked, clicking at odds of better than 32-1 for his sixth win at six furlongs on turf.
Herman Sarkowsky’s One Union, third behind California Flag in the Morvich Handicap, finished eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. In his last appearance at Hollywood Park, he was beaten a nose by Canteen in the El Segundo in mid-May.
Unusual Suspect, the defending race champion, and Racketeer will both be saddled by Barry Abrams. The former has failed to win in 11 starts since connecting by a nose at odds of 16-1 in 2007. Racketeer will be making his first start on turf since being purchased privately by Abrams prior to a seventh-place finish in the Hollywood Gold Cup in June.
Towzee, also a New Zealand-bred, has been off since finishing seventh in the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial here in July, while Argentine-bred Carrilero enters fresh from a victory in an allowance race down-the-hill at Santa Anita.
In the $100,000 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds, Todd Pletcher-trained Bittel Road will aim for his fourth victory in five starts. The son of Stormy Atlantic won his first three races, including the Grade III Bourbon at Keeneland, before finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
The 26th running of the Generous Stakes, at one mile on turf, lines up as follows:
Bittel Road, Smith, 122; Mr. Rod, Chantal Sutherland, 117; Hype, Michael Baze, 117; Battle of Hastings, Tyler Baze, 117; Mensa Heat, Clinton Potts, 115; Insurgence, Joel Rosario, 117; Bourbon Bay, Bejarano, 117, and Liturgical, Brice Blanc, 117.
The Generous will run as the fifth race and the Turf Express as the ninth on Saturday’s ten-race program at Hollywood Park. First post time is 12:30 p.m.
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