$1.7-MILLION SUPER SUNDAY SET FOR JULY 21 AT HOLLYWOOD PARK
SPECIAL NOON POST TIME SUPER SUNDAY
There will be a special noon post time on Super Sunday, July 21. There will be no early bird wagering, as gates open at 9:30 a.m.
ESPN TO TELEVISE $700,000 CAESARS PALACE TURF
ESPN will nationally televise Sunday's $700,000 Caesars Palace Turf Championship from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (PDT). The 1 1/2-mile turf endurance event will be run as the fourth live race, with an approximate post time of 1:40 p.m.
MEDIA REMINDER: SUPER SUNDAY DRAW BREAKFAST SET FOR
Members of the media and horsemen are invited to attend Thursday's Super Sunday Post Position Draw Breakfast. The draw breakfast, to be held at the Horsemen's Lounge on Hollywood Park's backstretch, will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Entries will be taken for the $700,000 Caesars Palace Turf Championship (Gr. II), $500,000 Swaps Stakes (Gr. II), $250,000 Vanity Handicap (Gr. I) and $100,000-added Hollywood Juvenile Championship (Gr. II).
The draw breakfast is an opportunity to meet jockeys, trainers and owners participating in Sunday's prestigious races.
DRYSDALE TO SEND TIME STAR, SPECIAL PRICE IN CAESARS PALACE
After satisfactory moves over the Hollywood Turf course Wednesday morning, trainer Neil Drysdale has decided to run stablemates Time Star and Special Price in Sunday's $700,000 Caesars Palace Turf Championship (Gr. II), inflating the prospective field to seven.
"I was very pleased with both of them," Drysdale said after the morning moves. "I'm leaning to running both of them."
Special Price breezed a half-mile in :48, while stablemate Time Star checked in at :47 4/5 for the distance.
Special Price, a 7-year-old gelding, ran third in the Stars And Stripes Handicap (Gr. III) at Arlington on July 4.
"I'm a little concerned bringing him right back," he said. "But he worked very well and appears to be very happy.
The son of Bering ran second behind Sandpit in last year's renewal, and will have to outrun that rival to get his picture taken Sunday.
"Sandpit is a superior horse and he appears to be at the top of his game right now," Drysdale said. "It will be a tough chore to beat him."
Time Star represents the other half of Drysdale's team. The 5-year-old is perfect in North America, bringing a three-race win streak into Sunday's contest. The Manila gelding captured the June 16 Golden Gate Handicap (Gr. II) in his last start.
"He was a good horse in Europe," Drysdale said. "He won the Italian Derby and finished third in the Coronation Cup. He is developing, and coming along very well right now."
Probables for the Caesars Palace Turf Championship, to be run Sunday, July 21 at 1 1/2 miles on the turf: Sandpit, Corey Nakatani, 125; Awad, Chris McCarron, 117; Windsharp, Eddie Delahoussaye, 116; Lassigny, Jerry Bailey, 116; Talloires, Kent Desormeaux, 116; Special Price, no rider, 116, and Time Star, no rider, 115.
TWICE THE VICE, SERENA'S SONG TO BATTLE IN
Owner Martin Wygod and trainer Ron Ellis set the stage for the rubber match between Twice The Vice and Serena's Song, as they decided Wednesday morning to contest Sunday's $250,000 Vanity Handicap, making it one of the most eagerly anticipated races on the Super Sunday card.
"Serena's Song and Twice The Vice are the top two, and with Jewel Princess in there, this will be probably the three best distaffers in the country," Ellis said.
Serena's Song defeated Twice The Vice in the Mar. 10 Santa Margarita Handicap (Gr. I) at Santa Anita, but Twice The Vice got the best of her rival in the Apr. 12 Apple Blossom (Gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
"She beat us early in the year," he said. "But my mare has improved considerably since then."
A steady improvement is part of the plan Ellis has mapped out for his 5-year-old mare, who has won four of her five starts this year. She heads into the Vanity off three consecutive Grade I wins, including the Santa Margarita, Apple Blossom, and the Milady in her last.
"Our plan has been to race her with an Eclipse Award in mind," he said. "We knew we had to race all year and win the Breeders' Cup. So our plan has been for her to get better as the year goes on. Fortunately, so far that is the way things have turned out. I think every one of her races has been better than the one before."
The Vice Regent mare scored by 3/4 of a length over Jewel Princess in the Milady, putting her lifetime earnings ($1,042,204) over the $1-million mark and recording a 113 Beyer figure in the process.
"I don't think you've seen her absolute best this year," he warned. "I think you'll see that this weekend."
Ellis had been considering skipping the Vanity in favor of the Ramona (Gr. I) on the turf at Del Mar, and said he was hoping to win Grade I's on both surfaces this year.
"We were looking at the Ramona," he said. "But Marty (Wygod) didn't want to give the impression we are ducking Serena's Song and I don't either."
Ellis and Wygod both know that Serena's Song stands in the way of a potential Eclipse Award.
"I believe she's competing with Serena's Song for the Eclipse," he said. "We feel that by the end of the year our mare will deserve it."
Serena's Song has won five of eight starts this year, and with lifetime earnings of $2,758,348 she ranks as the seventh all-time money winning distaffer.
"I have a tremendous respect for Serena's Song and what she has accomplished," Ellis said. "She has to go down as one of the top five fillies and mares of all time."
In other developments:
Louisville Bud Breeders' Cup (Gr. II) winner Jewel Princess worked four furlongs in :48 2/5 Wednesday morning.
"She breezed just perfect," said trainer Wally Dollase.
Probables for the 55th running of the Vanity Handicap, to be run Sunday, July 21 at 1 1/8 miles: Serena's Song, Jerry Bailey, 125; Twice The Vice, Chris McCarron, 122; Jewel Princess, Corey Nakatani, 120; Borodislew, Eddie Delahoussaye, 117; Top Rung, David Flores, 115, and Real Connection, no rider, 112.
Possibles: Dixie Pearl, no rider, 113, and Airistar, no rider, 109.
LOCAL KING OF THE HILL HESABULL TO TACKLE LUKAS SHIPPERS IN $500,000 SWAPS
Hesabull has established himself as the top 3-year-old in California this summer with wins in the Harry Henson and Affirmed Handicap (Gr. III). The Dispersal colt has won four of his last five for trainer Mike Chambers, and will likely vie for favortism with D. Wayne Lukas shippers Victory Speech and Prince Of Thieves in Sunday's $500,000 Swaps Stakes (Gr. II).
"We knew somebody would be coming for a half-million dollars, they don't give that kind of money away," Chambers said from his barn at Emerald Downs in Washington. "We're just fortunate to be in there and not be 100-1."
Hesabull took four starts to break his maiden, but since finding his way to the winner's circle he's only been kept away once.
"The first few times he had some bad racing luck," Chambers said. "But now he's matured and is able to relax out there."
After going wire-to-wire in his first three wins, Hesabull was able to drop just off the pace in the June 30 Affirmed.
"Eddie has instilled a little more confidence in him," Chambers said. "He's been able to rate so he's not just one dimensional out there."
In other developments:
Slews Royal Son, a three-time winner at the current meet, worked five furlongs in 1:03 3/5 Wednesday.
Probables for the 23rd running of the Swaps (Gr. II), to be run Sunday, July 21 at 1 1/8 miles: Hesabull, Eddie Delahoussaye; Semoran, Chris McCarron; Prince Of Thieves, Alex Solis; Victory Speech, Jerry Bailey; Zanferrier, no rider.
Possible: Doman Lore, no rider, and Slews Royal Son, Brice Blanc.
SWISS YODELER ONE TO BEAT IN HOLLYWOOD JUVENILE
Perfect in three starts, Swiss Yodeler will be favored to extend his win streak in Sunday's $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship. The son of Eastern Echo has won all three starts under jockey Alex Solis.
After breaking his maiden by three lengths on May 13, Swiss Yodeler scored consecutive stakes wins in the Westchester and Haggin Stakes. The Hollywood Juvenile Championship would complete a sweep of Hollywood Park's 2-year-old stakes for the precocious runner.
"He's done everything right so far," said Harrington. "When I got him from the farm they told me he could run. But I never expected him to win three in a row from the get go."
Both Harrington and Solis have been very successful with 2-year-olds this summer. Harrington has saddled four 2-year-old winners at the meet, second only to Jerry Dutton with five. Leading rider Solis has ridden 12 juvenile winners, more than twice the number of any other rider.
Probables for the 57th running of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, to be run Sunday, July 21 at six furlongs: Swiss Yodeler, Alex Solis; Red, Rene Douglas; Vermilion, Laffit Pincay Jr., Smokin Mel, no rider, and Prairie Junction, Jerry Bailey.
Possible: Big Cowboy, no rider.
FREE ADMISSION, FORD MUSTANG GIVEAWAY ON CLOSING DAY
Fans attending Hollywood Park on Closing Day -- Monday, July 22 -- will receive free general admission and a chance to win a 1996 Ford Mustang GT.
Other prize giveaways on Fan Appreciation Day include Toshiba color TVs and VCRs, weekend getaways to Las Vegas, Dodger baseball tickets, a mountain bike, Hollywood clubhouse credentials for future meetings and much more.
The closing day feature is the $65,000-added Exbourne for older horses at a mile on turf. First post is 1 p.m.
HOLLYWOOD PARK OFFERS FREE ADMISSION TO SENIORS ON THURSDAY
Hollywood Park invites seniors aged 62-and-over to attend The Track of Lakes and Flowers on Thursday, July 18, free of charge.
General admission will include parking and an official program. First post is 1 p.m.
FINISH LINES: Trainer John Shirreffs said Radu Cool, who defeated Grade I winner Alpride in an allowance race Saturday, could make her next start in the Ramona Handicap (Gr. I) on Aug. 3 . . . Score Quick drew post position seven for Saturday's $300,000 DeFrancis Dash at Laurel . . . Megan's Interco drilled four furlongs in :50 4/5 in preparation for Sunday's $70,000 Khaled Handicap . . . Fastness worked six furlongs in 1:14 as he readies for the Aug. 4 Eddie Read (Gr. I) at Del Mar . . . The Exeter Man worked six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 . . . Exotic Wood went one mile in 1:40 3/5 as she prepares for the July 28 Go For Wand (Gr. I) at Saratoga . . . Odyle worked four furlongs in :49 4/5 Wednesday . . . Matiara drilled one mile in 1:37 4/5 at Santa Anita.
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