Turf sprints rule the day with a trio of contentious dashes on the lawn including eight older runners in the featured $68,000 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap.
With four defeats since last year’s Kerlan win, Gallant Son is dismissed at 8-to-1 on the morning line. Over his last 20 races, the 6-year-old son of Malabar Gold has won twice from three tries over Hollywood Park’s turf course, but is winless in 17 starts everywhere else.
A pair of speedsters share top pre-race honors, with Obviously the 5-to-2 favorite and Comma to the Top given high weight of 123 lbs. as the 3-to-1 co-second choice.
After winning his final two races in Ireland, Obviously has won just once in four stateside starts. The 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Choisir compromised himself in his last two by breaking slowly and had to settle for minor honors.
If Obviously is flat footed from the gate again today, Comma to the Top can rocket himself to the lead breaking to his outside. Off a blazing win sprinting five furlongs on turf at Golden Gate, the 4-year-old son of Bwana Charlie makes his second start on this turf course after winning the Generous (Grade III) at a mile in wire-to-wire fashion as a 2-year-old.
A perfect 3-for-3 over this layout in allowance company all with Garrett Gomez aboard, Rauschenberg is also 3-to-1 with an early battle up front setting things up for him to roll late again. The 5-year-old son of Grand Slam wore down Obviously in a third-level allowance on June 3.
The weight of Friday’s blog has spun Rafael Bejarano into a two-day tail spin. The meet’s leading rider looks to get back on the beam with 4-to-1 fourth choice John Johny Jak, who drops in class and tries a sprint for the first time in 15 starts off the seven-month layoff.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (1,7,8,11,12) – Inside and outside debuters look toughest with No. 1 Heir of Storm’s sharp works out of a 20% debut sire and No. 12 Den’s Legacy with Baffert and Bejarano.
Spread with the experienced runners using the pair for Doug O’Neill with No. 8 Papa G. T. and No. 11 Cinco de Mario, along with No. 7 No Rachmones.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (1,2,4,6,7) – The five discussed above with No. 1 Rauschenberg, No. 2 John Johny Jak, No. 4 Obviously, No. 6 Gallant Son and No. 7 Comma to the Top.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (1,2,3,4) – The inside quartet of 3-year-old sprinters with No. 1 Plenny of Henny, No. 2 Mighty Monsoon, No. 3 Let’s Get Crackin and No. 4 Night Tide.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (1,2,4) – No. 4 D J Dave should relax better after pulling last time and galloped out nicely.
No. 1 Wild Side Story is live in his unveiling, while No. 2 Besame Suances is worth a flier off a decent come back effort when hung wide.
No. 12 Jaco Red was right in the mix last time, but is up against it breaking from way outside.
Recap – (1,7,8,11,12) w (1,2,4,6,7) w (1,2,3,4) w (1,2,4) – Total cost of ticket = $150
Yesterday’s Result – (-$160)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (-$1,889.45)
Total from 12/26/10 – 4/22/12 – (+$588.70)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (4,5) – No. 5 Hello Frankie has speed and by far the best shown form with a pair of recent runner-up efforts.
No. 4 Mucho Macho Mark lures Bejarano and appears to have some talent for Kristin Mulhall, who does well with debut runners.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,4,5,8) – No. 1 Byrony was impressive while beating a weak field in herU.S. debut and No. 8 Thisismystage returns off a short layoff with a solid record and proven at the distance.
Both No. 4 Score Boyera and No. 5 Lady Aspen can storm late to upset.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (3,5,6) – No. 3 Hadfunlastnight gets a confident class raise off a sharp win over this track, while No. 5 Fist Pump and No. 6 Secret Spy have solid synthetic form at Golden Gate that transfers to success in So Cal.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,3,4) – No. 3 Quick Wampum is a threat to lead all the way for new connections.
No. 4 Dance Thewayyouare missed by a neck with Bejarano aboard for the first time in his last and No. 2 Pumpkin Pie has two solid works since an improved effort off the claim.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (2,4,6) – A super competitive turf dash with lots of early speed and though we spread, our Best Bet comes with No. 6 Magic School, who had to need her last and can roll late after facing some talented older Cal-breds last year.
No. 2 Elusive Cookies lands Bejarano again and draws nicely, while No. 4 With a Miracle is in sharp form and proven over this layout.
Recap – (4,5) w (1,4,5,8) w (3,5,6) w (2,3,4) w (2,4,6) – Total cost of ticket = $108
Yesterday’s Result – (-$84)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (+$21.90)
Total from 7/20/11 – 4/22/12 – (+$2,150.80)
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