Not only are we treated to a full, competitive field in the $150,000 American Handicap (Grade II) with lots of star power going a mile on turf, but Doug O’Neill has a pair of intriguing debuts two weeks from making a run at the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (Grade I) with I’ll Have Another.
In honor of Mario Gutierrez’s winning ride in the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) aboard I’ll Have Another on May 5, owner J. Paul Reddam named his $220,000 son of Candy Ride, Cinco de Mario, and he debuts in a maiden allowance over 4 ½-furlongs that goes as race two. Gutierrez gets a leg up from O’Neill on the 8-to-1 shot that has been training smartly.
The star power of the day extends to some prominent new owners, with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol getting into the game with Siempre Mio, who O’Neill jumps from a non-winners of two claiming victory to a first-level allowance in race six. Joy Scott retains the mount off the win and will be the first to don the Los Angeles Lakers silks.
Back to the feature where Mr. Commons looks to get back on the winning track as the 8-to-5 favorite and 122 lb. high-weight after coming up a neck short in the Kilroe Mile (Grade I) at Santa Anita on March 3. The 4-year-old son of Artie Schiller had previously won clear in a pair of Grade II events across town and will need to maneuver a ground saving trip coming from off the pace after breaking from the outside.
The only other multiple graded stakes winner in the field is 12-to-1 shot Liberian Freighter, who should be able to clear to his preferred spot alone on the lead while getting in light at 117 lbs. The long layoff is a concern for the 7-year-old Cal-bred son of Bertrando, but he’s been training steadily and won off a shorter layoff in 2010.
Compari is the only potential threat to a clear lead for Liberian Freigther, but even if he concedes the lead, he can sit the perfect stalking trip as the 7-to-2 second choice. After beginning the year with a pair of wins against lesser, the 6-year-old Cal-bred son of Redattore settled for a pair of third-place finishes in graded stakes events to close out his Santa Anita meet.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (2,4,6,7) – No. 1 Siempre Mio is up against it against this bunch so it’s unlikely that Kobe and Pau Racing will win their debut.
Instead, we’ll expect No. 2 Industry Leader, No. 4 John Scott, No. 6 Cyclometer or No. 7 Sequoia Warrior to get the money.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (4,5,7,11) – No. 4 This Means War and No. 5 Tiz a Daisy exit strong debut efforts, as does No. 7 Dancingtothestars, another Gutierrez/O’Neill runner returning 18 months after just missing over this strip.
No. 11 Bella Viaggia hasn’t missed a beat leading up to her unveiling for Mike Puype and lures Garret Gomez.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (1,9,10) – Use the trio listed above of No. 1 Compari, No. 9 Liberian Freighter and No. 10 Mr. Commons.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (1,4,5,6,11,13) – An excellent card closes with an intriguing finale for $16,000 claimers and we’ll spread with No. 1 Adam Suances, No. 4 Joe Carl, No. 5 Private Bounty, No. 6 Afleet Deal, No. 11Woodland Flood and No. 13 Sir Hamilton.
Recap – (2,4,6,7) w (4,5,7,11) w (1,9,10) w (1,4,5,6,11,13) – Total cost of ticket = $144
Yesterday’s Result – (-$90)
Total for currentHollywoodParkspring/summer meet – (-$991.40)
Total from 12/26/10 – 4/22/12 – (+$588.70)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2,3) – No. 2 Hammurabi regressed when cutting back to a sprint two weeks ago, but adds blinkers on the stretch back out and should be lone speed.
After trying tougher in his last two, No. 3 Miles Heir is back at the bottom where he won by over eight lengths three races back.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,3,4,5) – We’ll use half of the eight horse field of debuters with No. 1 Manewal, No. 3 Amarish, No. 4 Cinco de Mario and No. 5 Stretch.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (1,3,5,6) – No. 1 Anna You’re Up will get bet off a nice win sprinting and already owning a win going long on turf, but this will be her third start in less than a month so she’s vulnerable.
No. 5 Mia Isabel plummets in class while getting the weight break, No. 6 Babyneedsnewshoes is dangerous on the stretch out for a hot barn and No. 3 Warrens Venedalucy fired a bullet for her new connections.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (1,4,5,6) – No. 1 Just Tripping and No. 4 Street Rocket drop from the maiden allowance ranks and will be short prices. We’ll add No. 5 Midnight Con along with No. 6 Symphonic Cat.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (1,4,11) – A tough sequence concludes with a doozy of a first-level allowance going a mile on turf and the top pick is No. 11 Kingpin Ryno getting back to his preferred surface and rider. He has the tactical speed to cross the field and not lose too much ground into the clubhouse turn while pressing No. 1 Reach a Decision, who draws perfectly looking for his third straight wire job, but is in significantly less capable hands off the claim.
No. 4 Buffalo Billy is a 3-year-old going against older, but deserves a look dropping out of stakes action and with his only career win coming the last time he made his third start of a form cycle.
Recap – (2,3) w (1,3,4,5) w (1,3,5,6) w (1,4,5,6) w (1,4,11) – Total cost of ticket = $192
Yesterday’s Result – (+$839.50)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (+$977.10)
Total from 7/20/11 – 4/22/12 – (+$2,150.80)
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