Horses have been filtering in all week for the three-day Hollywood Turf Festival, which gets under way Friday with the $65,000 Cool Air Stakes at 6 furlongs and the Grade II, $250,000 Citation Handicap at 1 1-16 miles. In the Citation, Mike Pender sends out the two morning line favorites—Jeranimo (5-2), the defending champion, and Ultimate Eagle (3-1), winner of the Grade I Hollywood Derby a year ago.
“She got in around 5:15 yesterday afternoon,” said George Abreu, Brown’s assistant trainer. “She shipped fine and everything looks good. We’ll jog her this morning (9:15 a.m.) and she will gallop Thursday and Friday.”
Juddmonte Farms’ Emulous arrived at Hollywood Park Wednesday, Nov. 14, left the quarantine barn Nov. 16 and is stabled in the isolation barn. The Dermot Weld trainee, winner of the Group I Coolmore Matron in Ireland in 2011, will be ridden by Patrick Smullen.
Weld also will saddle Moyglare Stud Farm’s Speaking of Which, a leading contender for the Grade 1, $250,000 Hollywood Derby. Runner-up in the recent Grade II Twilight Derby at Santa Anita, Speaking of Which caught the eye of morning line maker and clocker Russ Hudak in a half-mile drill Tuesday.
“Speaking of Which looked real good in the work,” said Hudak. “He broke slightly behind a (trainer) Carl O’Callaghan runner (Aerial Artist) and finished slightly ahead. He was under a big hold.” The work was timed in 49 1/5 seconds and termed “breezing.” The Derby will be run at 1 1-4 miles.
Yvonne Jacques’ Grandeur, who edged Speaking of Which in the Twilight Derby, stretched his legs with a five furlong work in 1:01 4/5 six days ago at Santa Anita. Garrett Gomez takes the helm on the Irish-bred son of Verglas.
Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Golden Ticket, dead-heat winner of the Grade I Travers Stakes Aug. 25 at Saratoga, has been busy since a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 22 at Parx. The Speightstown colt worked a half mile breezing in:48 3/5 at Churchill Downs Nov. 3, followed by 58 4/5 (Nov. 10) and 1:01 works (Nov. 18) at Santa Anita. He will ship to Betfair Hollywood Park Sunday morning.
J. Al Thani’s Rjwa, third in the French Oaks in June, arrived here Nov. 17 and cleared quarantine two days later. The 3-year-old filly was supplemented to both the Matriarch and Derby, but trainer Francois Rohaut indicated she will run in the Derby. Thierry Jarnet has the call.
Graham Motion has a trio for the Turf Festival; Summer Soiree in the Matriarch and Lucky Chappy and General Logan in the Derby. General Logan arrived here Tuesday, while the other two were scheduled to arrive late Wednesday. All three will be housed in Gary Mandella’s barn.
MASSIVE PICK 6 CARRYOVER OF $560,134 THURSDAY, EARLY POST
Bettors will try to stuff their wallets before stuffing their turkeys Thursday as a huge Pick Six carryover awaits. The sequence includes races 4-9 on a day when there is an early holiday post time of 11 a.m. Post time for the fourth race is approximately 12:30 p.m.
Jockey Tyler Baze almost singlehandedly created the carryover Sunday when he booted home longshots Little Jerry ($53.80) and Rock This Way ($33.80) in consecutive races. That daily double combination in the fifth and sixth races was worth $841.40.
BEJARANO, SADLER TOP STANDINGS HEADING INTO THIRD WEEK
Some familiar names are atop the leader board as Betfair Hollywood Park enters the third week of the Autumn meet. Rafael Bejarano, the leading rider during the Spring/Summer season, has 11 winners, three more than Martin Garcia. Joe Talamo, Edwin Maldonado and Baze are tied for third with seven wins each.
John Sadler, who won with his first four starters, has a 6-5 lead over Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Another Hall of Famer – Bob Baffert – is third with four wins. Sadler picked up his 2,000th North American victory with Rooster City on Nov. 9, the second day of the meet.
PAIR OF FREE SEMINARS FOCUS ON HOLLYWOOD TURF FESTIVAL
Trainer Julio Canani will be the guest of co-hosts Michael Burns and George Ortuzar on Escogiendo Ganadores (Picking Winners) Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Canani, who has three Breeders’ Cup wins in his career and more than 370 victories at Hollywood Park, Burns and Ortuzar will discuss the Peruvian trainer’s career as well as the Saturday program. The seminar begins at 11 a.m. at the Paddock Tote Board.
Thirty minutes later, Rich Perloff of Television Games Network (TVG) will host the Hollywood Insider at the same location. Perloff will offer handicapping tips, insights and other last minute information on the afternoon’s races, including a pair of Turf Festival events at one mile for 2-year-olds—the $100,000 Miesque Stakes for fillies and $100,000 Generous Stakes.
CLOSING STRIDES—Trainer Mike Puype had been giving serious consideration to running Jungle Racing, et al’s Mizdirection in the Matriarch, but said Wednesday that he is now leaning against it. Mizdirection won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in her last start Nov. 3…….Jockey Aaron Gryder tweeted that he received an unexpected bonus for his victory aboard Calidoscopio in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon. Gryder has been invited to ride four Group I races in Argentina next month…….Free box seats are being offered Thursday and Friday throughout the meet. The upgrade includes Friday, the first day of the Turf Festival…Out of a field that began with 2,409 entrants, the Show Me the Money Contest has been reduced to 77. The last person standing will receive the $2,500 winner-take-all prize.