Racing fans are treated to a full, competitive graded stakes field of 3-year-old fillies in the 67th running of the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks (Grade II) at 1 1/16-miles on the main track on a glorious Saturday afternoon in Inglehood.
Beaten nearly 50 lengths while last of 14 runners in the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), Eden’s Moon returns as the 3-to-1 favorite for Bob Baffert with Rafael Bejarano replacing Martin Garcia, who had been aboard for the $390,000 daughter of Malibu Moon’s first five starts. The odds-on favorite in three of those races, Eden’s Moon scores a resounding wire-to-wire victory in the Las Virgenes (Grade I) before faltering to finish third in the Santa Anita Oaks (Grade I).
Willa B Awesome grinded her way to victory in the Santa Anita Oaks and followed that up by winning for the fifth time in her career in the Melair over this main track in April. The Cal-bred daughter of Awesome Gambler purchased for just $18,000 is the 7-to-2 second choice and will eclipse the $600,000 mark in career earnings with any kind of a result.
Off a rousing 11 ½-length maiden breaking score on May 3, Potesta is the 4-to-1 co-third choice with Joe Talamo landing here instead of Killer Graces, who is also 4-to-1 and won the Hollywood Starlet (Grade I) over Cushion Track in December with Talamo aboard.
In his final weekend as a regular rider in Southern California, Joel Rosario hopes to go out with a bang aboard 6-to-1 shot Via Villagio, who was the upset winner of the Railbird Stakes (Grade III) on May 19. Purchased for $300,000 as a yearling, the daughter of Bernardini has won her last three starts on a synthetic surface including breaking her maiden against males at Golden Gate Fields.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (1,3,5,7) – A difficult sequence that should pay handsomely begins with a wide-open $40,000 allowance optional claimer that starts from the Costco parking lot and we’ll spread with 10-time winner No. 1 Huntingman, No. 3 Solar Rocket, No. 5 Gatheratthealter and No. 7 Da Ruler.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (1,2,7) – No. 7 Gypsy Friday is the top pick getting pace to chase again and a new rider that can hopefully keep her closer early.
Both No. 1 Autumn View and No. 2 Horsesanddivorces exit solid efforts and can improve.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (1,4,6,7,8) – Use the five runners discussed above with No. 1 Willa B Awesome, No. 4 Eden’s Moon, No. 6 Potesta, No. 7 Via Villagio and No. 8 Killer Graces.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (2,4,5,8,11) – Class droppers No. 4 Aunt Gert and No. 5 Lauren’s Lady will be tough against this bunch and No. 2 Secret Genius can run them all down late with Talamo aboard for the first time.
No. 8 Royal Marie bounced back with a solid pair of five-furlong spins after getting eased in her debut.
No. 11 One Lucky Lady has speed and any slight improvement puts her right there for low percentage connections.
Recap – (1,3,5,7) w (1,2,7) w (1,4,6,7,8) w (2,4,5,8,11) – Total cost of ticket = $150
Yesterday’s Result – (-$49)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (-$2,212.40)
Total from 12/26/10 – 4/22/12 – (+$588.70)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2,3,4,5) – Spread with the logical four runners using No. 2 My Man Sumo, No. 3 Trumpet Player Jay, No. 4 Miles Heir and No. 5 Titian.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (7,10) – No. 7 Tiz a Brite Miss has been the beaten favorite in her last four starts. She’ll be in that role again today, but should be tough to deny against this weak bunch.
No. 10 Warren’s Passion looms the upsetter with some apparent wake up works for her second off the layoff.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (2,6) – It’s tough to get by the two favorites in this turf sprint with No. 2 Red Defense coming back in 16 days for new connections and getting pace to chase and No. 6 Mandated Bliss looking to make it a perfect 4-for-4 with Rafael Bejarano in the irons.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (3,4) – Bob Baffert looks to have another future star on his hands with No. 3 Elusive Jackpot, but we’ll also use the “other” Baffert No. 4 Distracting.
No. 2 Dime Piece has the best form of the experienced runners with a pair of second-place efforts, but her work tab is a touch spotty.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (ALL) – An elongated sprint for non-winners of two lifetime where any of the eight runners can win.
Recap – (2,3,4,5) w (7,10) w (2,6) w (3,4) w (ALL) – Total cost of ticket = $128
Yesterday’s Result – (-$180)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (+$422.60)
Total from 7/20/11 – 4/22/12 – (+$2,150.80)
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