|THE $700,000 MATRIARCH -- THE RACE FOR THE ECLIPSE|
RESPECT RUNS HIGH FOR TIMARIDA
Timarida, a very impressive winner in two U.S. starts, will be favored to make it three-for-three in Sunday's $700,000 Matriarch (Gr. I). The Irish filly is very well respected in Europe and the U.S., and receives plenty of respect from the trainers of her rivals.
"She's awesome," trainer Marty Jones said. "She's unbelievable. The way she runs is just amazing. I've seen her with Morgana in Canada and with Auriette in the Beverly D, and both times she was nothing short of spectacular. If both (Auriette and Timarida) run their races, I don't see how we can beat her. But maybe if she makes any mistakes, I think we can get her."
Timarida, a 4-year-old daughter of Kalaglow, followed up her Beverly D victory with a win in the Irish Champion Stakes (Gr. I-Ire), in which she scored over Epsom Derby (Gr. I) winner Shaamit, Irish Oaks (Gr. I-Ire) winner Dance Design, and Group 1 winner Glory of Dancer.
Trainer Bobby Frankel will attempt to topple Timarida with Wandesta, who will try to improve on third-place finishes in the last two Matriarchs.
"We're going to have to be awfully lucky to beat her," Frankel said. "If she runs her best race, I don't think I can beat her."
Ron McAnally, who saddled Auspicante to win the 1986 Matriarch and sent out runner-up Super Staff in 1992, has Alpride and Olimpia Dukakis in this year's running. McAnally got a good look at Timarida, when Alpride ran third to her in the Beverly D.
"The only hope we've got is that all her shipping around might take something out of her," McAnally said before the Yellow Ribbon. "Trying to beat her when she's right is very tough."
Trainer James Toner, who will saddle fifth-place Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. I) finisher Memories of Silver, offered the only dissenting opinion.
"Naturally, people would think Timarida is the horse to beat in this race, but it's not like I think she stands out over the field," Toner said. "This is a very competitive field from top to bottom. Whoever wins this race will get the trip. With a big field like this, the trip is always a concern -- you've got to be lucky."
Probables for the 16th running of the $700,000 Matriarch, to be run at 3:42 p.m. Sunday, for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles over the turf: Alpride, Chris McCarron; Auriette, Kent Desormeaux; Bail Out Becky, no rider; Dixie Pearl, Rene Douglas; Duda, Gary Stevens; Hollywood Dream (s), Cash Asmussen; Memories Of Silver (s), Robbie Davis; Olimpia Dukakis, Alex Solis; Real Connection (s), Laffit Pincay Jr.; Timarida, John Murtagh; Wandesta, Corey Nakatani, and Windsharp, Eddie Delahoussaye.
WHITTINGHAM HAS RAINBOW BLUES IN $500,000 CROWN ROYAL HOLLYWOOD DERBY
Trainer Charlie Whittingham, who has saddled a record four Hollywood Derby winners, could add to that total as he sends out Rainbow Blues in Sunday's $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby (Gr. I).
"It would be pretty nice to win another Hollywood Derby," Whittingham said. "But it's pretty nice to win a derby anytime."
Whittingham's four Hollywood Derby wins came with Tumble Wind in 1967, Tell in 1969, Thrill Show in 1986, and Live The Dream in 1989.
Rainbow Blues has a win and a third since being imported from Ireland this summer. He captured the Del Mar Invitational Derby (Gr. II) in his U.S. debut, and finished a troubled third in the Volante Handicap (Gr. II) at Santa Anita.
"He's training awfully good right now," Whittingham said. "Things went against him in his last race, but the time before that, they went his way."
Rainbow Blues' Del Mar win gave Whittingham his first graded stakes win since Aube Indienne won the 1994 Yellow Ribbon (Gr. I).
"He's done awfully well since he came over from Ireland," Whittingham said. "He had very consistent form over there, but he's improved a lot. He's a pretty easy horse that does everything right -- and he likes California."
Probables for the $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby, to be run at 3:12 p.m. Sunday, at 1 1/8 miles over the turf: Astor Place (s), Cash Asmussen; Currency Arbitrage, no rider; Devil's Cup, Kent Desormeaux; Jirhan, Alex Solis; Lago (s), no rider; Le Triton (s), Chris McCarron; Marlin, John Velasquez; Mystic Knight, Rene Douglas; New York New York, no rider; Ok by Me, Jorge Chavez; Rainbow Blues, Corey Nakatani; Take A Left (s), Corey Black; The Barking Shark, Michael Hunter; Trail City, Pat Day, and True Flare, Gary Stevens.
HOLLYPARK UMBRELLA GIVEAWAY SUNDAY
Fans attending The Track of the Lakes and Flowers on Sunday, Dec. 1 -- final day of the $2.15-million Turf Festival, featuring the $700,000 Matriarch and $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby -- will receive a free Hollywood Park umbrella with a paid admission while supplies last.
The sleek black and white paneled umbrella -- equipped with an automatic opener, quality water-resistant nylon, protective tips and a simulated wood horse head handle -- features a specially-designed Hollywood Park illustration.
TURF FESTIVAL WEEK POST TIMES
Friday, Nov. 29 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 30 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 12:30 p.m.
DISTAFFERS TAKE ON THE BOYS IN FRIDAY'S HOLLYWOOD TURF EXPRESS
Track Gal and Ski Dancer will attempt to be the first distaffers to capture the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express (Gr. III) in Friday's 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint. Defeating males is nothing new to this pair as Track Gal swept past open company in the Rancho Bernardo Handicap (Gr. III) at Del Mar, and Ski Dancer beat the boys in the San Simeon Handicap (Gr. III) down the Santa Anita hillside course in April.
Post positions from the rail out for the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express, to be run at 4:42 p.m., as the ninth race Friday at 5 1/2 furlongs over the turf: Cyrano Storme, Rene Douglas, 118, 5-1; Promising Wonder, Brice Blanc, 111, 20-1; Wild Zone, Eddie Delahoussaye, 116, 5-2; Uncaged Fury, Julio Garcia, 113, 20-1; Ski Dancer, Gary Stevens, 114, 4-1; Track Gal (s), Chris McCarron, 119, 9-5; Suggest, Kent Desormeaux, 113, 10-1, and Sandtrap, Alex Solis, 113, 10-1.
DOMINGUEZ SAYS LONGSHOT CLEVER PILOT IS
"BEST BET OF THE DAY" IN FRIDAY'S MIESQUE
Clever Pilot, who was leading the field in the opening-day Jim Hill Stakes when a flock of ducks darted in front of the field, will get a chance to reverse her fourth-place finish in that race when she takes on Montecito in Friday's $200,000 Miesque Stakes (Gr. III).
"She's the best bet of the day," trainer Caesar Dominguez said. "She would have beat Montecito last time, had the birds not gotten in the way. Alex Solis asked my filly and she responded to go ahead by one-and-a-half-lengths. She spooked the birds for the field, ducked way out into the center of the track and still came on for fourth."
Clever Pilot is listed 12-1 in the field of eight.
"She can beat Montecito," Dominguez said. "The horse I'm scared of is Rexy Sexy -- she's very consistent. With no birds and a clean trip I think my filly will show them what she's got."
Post positions from the rail out for the $200,000 Miesque Stakes (Gr. III), to be run at 2:42 p.m. as Friday's fifth race at one mile over the turf: Pun (s), Brice Blanc, 114, 12-1; Rexy Sexy, Kent Desormeaux, 121, 5-1; Wealthy, Chris McCarron, 116, 5-1; Cozzy Flyer, Rene Douglas, 114, 20-1; Critical Factor, Alex Solis, 114, 3-1; Montecito (s), Gary Stevens, 121, 5-2; Clever Pilot, Julio Garcia, 118, 12-1; and Ascutney, Eddie Delahoussaye, 116, 7-2.
STEVENS REUNITED WITH SEROTONIN IN SATURDAY'S $250,000 GENEROUS
Serotonin broke his maiden by six lengths under Gary Stevens on Oct. 12 at Belmont, and the pair will be reunited for Saturday's $250,000 Generous Stakes (Gr. III).
"He was very impressive," Stevens said of the John Kimmel-trainee. "He won in hand. He didn't have to work too hard."
Kimmel and Stevens combined to win last year's Generous with Old Chapel.
Jockey Robbie Davis had the mount in the Cowdin Stakes (Gr. II), Serotonin's only other start.
"In the Cowdin, he lost to Jules, who is the best 2-year-old that I've seen this year," Stevens said of Serotonin's fourth-place finish, 1 1/2-lengths behind Jules.
Probables for the $250,000 Generous Stakes (Gr. III), to be run Saturday at one mile on the turf: Falkenham (s), Eddie Delahoussaye, 116; Oakhurst, Michael Hunter, 114; Hello (s), Chris McCarron, 121; Divine Insight, Kent Desormeaux, 114; Zippersup, Martin Pedroza, 114; Play Waki for Me, Rene Douglas, 116; Demolition Man (s), Brice Blanc, 114; Steel Ruhlr, Victor Espinoza, 114; Serotonin (s), Gary Stevens, 114; Bagshot (s), Alex Solis, 118; Parks Cousin, Fernando Valenzuela, 114, and Churchland (s), Julio Garcia.
STELLAR CAST SET FOR SATURDAY'S $300,000 CITATION
A stellar cast has been assembled for Saturday's $300,000 Citation Handicap (Gr. II) featuring five graded stakes winners.
The lowest weighted starter in the 1 1/8-mile handicap will be Eltish, who ran second in the 1994 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Gr. I) and Iselin Handicap (Gr. I) this summer.
Gentlemen, Helmsman, Silver Wizard, Smooth Runner and Via Lombardia own graded stakes wins on the turf. The only non-graded stakes winner besides Eltish is Beau Jingles, who heads into the race with a three-race win streak and a four-for-six turf record.
Post positions from the rail out for the $300,000 Citation Handicap (Gr. II), to be run Saturday at 1 1/8 miles on the turf: Smooth Runner, Rene Douglas, 115; Beau Jingles (s), Alex Solis, 115; Helmsman, Chris McCarron, 119; Gentlemen, Gary Stevens, 119; Via Lombardia, Eddie Delahoussaye, 113; Eltish, Kent Desormeaux, 113, and Silver Wizard, Julio Garcia, 115.
CALIFORNIA RUNNERS IN CLARK HANDICAP SIMULCAST FRIDAY
Isitingood and Savinio, two Southern California-based runners, headline Friday's $200,000-added Clark Handicap (Gr. III) at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile event will be simulcast to Hollywood Park at 1:29 p.m.
Isitingood, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Fayette Handicap (Gr. II) at Keeneland in his last start. Savinio, who won the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (Gr. II) upon disqualification of Alphabet Soup, most recently finished third in the William P. Kyne Handicap (Gr. III) for trainer Walter Greenman.
HORSES FLY FIRST CLASS FOR THIS WEEKEND'S TURF FESTIVAL
Overcoming 80 mile-per-hour winds, twelve horses from New York and Kentucky touched down at Ontario airport Wednesday afternoon for the Turf Festival.
The flight, which originated in New York and stopped in Louisville to pick up additional horses, almost had to be rerouted due to the powerful winds. Despite the weather, the pilot was able to land the plane smoothly. The 727-airplane is specifically designed for flying racehorses.
The flight included Ascutney, Memories of Silver, Devil's Cup, Serotonin, Currency Arbitrage, Ok by Me and Divine Insight from New York and Le Triton, Trail City, Duda, Bail Out Becky and Sampras from Kentucky.
TOC TO HOST OWNERSHIP COURSE
Thoroughbred Owners of California will host an informational session for anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership. The "Horse Course" will take place Saturday, Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park. The free workshop will begin in the owner/trainer lounge at 8:30 a.m. Participants will watch workouts, visit the barn area and meet owners and trainers.
Topics include acquiring a thoroughbred, finding a trainer and costs of ownership. For further information, contact the TOC at (310) 330-7142.
FINISH LINES: Gunnar Froines, who called the races for 42 years at the Humboldt Country Fair in Ferndale, died Monday at his home in Albany. Froines, 80, started with Golden Gate Fields in 1950. He also worked in the operations department at Bay Meadows, Hollywood and Santa Anita. He succumbed to a brain tumor . . . Two-time San Gabriel Handicap (Gr. II) winner Romarin will make his next start in Friday's $75,000-added Forty Niner Handicap at Golden Gate . . . Tiger Talk breezed three furlongs in :36 Thursday morning.
The Running Horse (http://www.isd1.com/)