Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Hollywood Prevue to a Star?

The stakes action starts off this Thanksgiving weekend at the track of the lakes and flowers with the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue on Turkey Day. Going seven furlongs over the synthetic main track, this race is a prep for next month's Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity. This race in its past boasted winners such as Afternoon Deelites, Lion Heart and champion 2yo Declan's Moon, along with blog favorite Premier Pegasus. A possible star could break out with a strong performance. The field is a nice mix of stakes-tried horses and new shooters with buzz surrounding them. Let go over the field of eight, based on how they figure to run their respective races.

The probable front flight will consist of Sweet Swap, Hodge and So Brilliant (right). Sweet Swap dueled on the lead but faded late last time out in the Jack Goodman Stakes. The winner, Secret Circle, won the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint next out. This full brother of Sidney's Candy will look to clear off from the rail. Hodge broke his maiden last time in a gate-to-wire effort while under pressure the entire time. He comes back in only 19 days off that huge effort, but he does have a good work in the interim. So Brilliant dueled early and cleared off to win as a heavily bet favorite in his debut lat month at Santa Anita. He has had four strong works, though why he had one work at Hollywood, then shipped back to SA to work is a bit odd.

The horses sitting in the second flight, about 2-4 lengths back, figure to be Sheer Talent and Mucho Besos. Sheer Talent looks to bounce back after a subpar effort up at Golden Gate. His trainer Dan Hendricks brings him back off on short rest for the race and looks to be the one to "inherit" the lead if/when the speed backs up. Mucho Besos will try to jump off from an maiden claiming win to a graded stakes win. This looks like it might be too much of a step up, though he could get a slice if he gets the trip and one of the closers doesn't fire.

Galex, Empire Way and Brother Francis  are the last three in the field. Galex ran 2nd in the Jack Goodman Stakes (beating Sweet Swap in the process) by laying back and making one run. While he did pass the other 4 horses in the field, he lost ground on the winner in the last 8th. He did win his debut gate-to-wire, but he figures to sit off the pace in here. He does have several good stamina building works here. Empire Way won his maiden stylishly 11 days ago rolling by the field from the back. This full brother to multiple grade 1 winner Royal Delta appears to be in this race as more of a building block for the Hollywood Futurity according to his trainer's comments. His trainer also has a less-than-stellar record coming back on short rest (less than 14 days) with a two year old. Brother Francis started slow in his debut but closed quickly to just miss behind Hodge. He should improve with the extra distance, and does have two good works since, but he has never been over a synthetic surface either. He could show more positional speed with a clean break. "Brother" does have history working against him, as in the last twenty years no horse has broken his maiden in this race.

This is a tough race because I can see any number of these winning, but the tepid pick is Sheer Talent to pull an upset. It looks like there is enough speed for the front-runners to be softened up and allow him to "inherit" the lead in the stretch and hold off the closers.

Good luck and happy Thanksgiving everybody!


  1. When does time decieve in horse racing? When So Brilliant is favored over Empire Way.

    Watch for Raven Wild in R4. Tiz Addiction goes first time for Sadler (A top, if not the top, turnaround trainer) and Rosario likely will ride her aggressively to the lead. Lt. Hopeful and Dance with Gable are free falling to this spot and will be tough.

    Could I get 2/1 on Never Retreat in the Matriarch? How about Jeranimo in the Citation? 3/2 on Euroears in the Underwood? I smell an upcoming chalk parlay.

    I'm so underwhelmed by the Cigar Mile this year I'll be tuned in to the "Jersey Shore" marathon.

    Where's my Betfair account where I can offer a click above Awesome Feather in the Gazelle?

    Uh,and how can the news getting any stranger when there is Amish on Amish beard terrorism ordered by Samuel Mullet?

  2. And can there be a bigger jock upgrade from Hector Berrios to Bejarano on Blue Jay Attack in R7 Saturday? I guess there's always Solis to Rosario. BJA will finally get a clear setup for his late run with Thunder of Zion and Mandated Bliss ready to freespool it on the lead.

  3. and Mathieu finallyNovember 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Ten Devils to BJA looks like the play in R7. TD just toyed with his field first out in a turf sprint and went sour in his last two. He looks right now and with clear sailing he'll power through this is rather weak heat.

  4. After reviewing the work report a couple of adjustments are necessary. Tiz Addiction will be a prime play rather than just an include considering she finished a 6F work in 11 4/5 @ HP. And she'll be 4 or 5/1 So Brilliant has HUGE works since bow and will fight it out with Empire Way to see who tops a chalk exacta (SB has big ad with his speed particularly with Sweet Swap's scratch.)

  5. Mathieu is back and heNovember 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Baffert is 14 for his last 15 favored male first time maiden special weights? That is one of the most ridiculous stats ever, along with Woody Stephens 5 straight Belmonts, Noble Threewits 11 consecutive wins in the early fifties,and Wayne Lukas' five straight Triple Crown victories, although obviously not on the same scale as the others.

    That being said, Genius likely will be favored in R4 Friday and the stat will be busted by his stablemate The Director.

    Friday's late P4:

    R7 A:Hiatus, Jairzihno B: Acclerant
    R8 A:Include Me Out,Teddy's Promise
    R9 A:Never Retreat B: All Star Heart (if she doesn't fall)
    R10 A:Virginia Way, Creston Cutie, Zohrah B:Stupendous Princess