HOLLYWOOD PARK NOTEBOOK
MAY 16, 2012
by John Mucciolo
A single graded race highlighted the third week at Hollywood.
Lazaro Barrera Memorial (G2): Watson, Weitman and Pegram's DRILL tracked in third early and made a strong late run to take command late en route to a half-length win for trainer Bob Baffert. The Grade 1 hero finished off seven panels on the Cushion oval in 1:22 4/5 with Martin Garcia in the irons.
From a total of 34 races held at the Inglewood, California, racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 44 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 62 percent of the wins. From 23 frays contested on the Cushion oval, eight animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (35 percent), while one of the 11 grassy tussles went all the way on the lead (9 percent).
The main oval seemed very balanced throughout the week, with all type getting the job done. We still may favor early types a little bit, but the right horse can win from any spot on the oval.
The lone turf wire job came in a six-furlong sprint and we're a bit surprised that route races on the lawn haven't produced more front-end winners to this point.
HORSES TO WATCH
5TH -- TROIS AUREOLE took command inside the final furlong and powered home a sharp 2 1/4-length win in this spot under Joel Rosario. The sophomore English Channel filly has now won two straight and should be headed into a stakes engagement next time for trainer John Sadler.
7TH -- ROCK AND GLORY might not have beaten much in this event, but the Tim Yakteen charge really looked special in obliterating her foes in this spot. The four-year-old Rock Hard Ten filly is really starting to blossom into a good one.
3RD -- JONNY'S CHOICE rated kindly to the top of the lane and just took off when asked in the lane to put this field away late in fine fashion. The sophomore colt dusted his elders in this one and surely must be considered next time in his solid turf form cycle.
4TH -- MY SELECTION surely relished the cut back to sprinting with a game win in here, battling back after looking passed in early stretch. The sophomore has a lot of heart.
6TH -- EATON HALL proved that the cutback to one-turn racing was the key in rolling home a fine wire-to-wire winner in this one for Baffert. The sophomore El Corredor colt looks like a nice horse and came home in a solid :23 3/5.
5TH -- LA MANO NERA got the best of a long duel with the runner-up in this one, showing a lot of heart and ability for owner/trainer Eric Kruljac. This one has shown improvement since switching to the lawn and could be a player right back if properly placed.
8TH -- DHAAMER made fairly short work of this field in the lane to earn this stakes win in exquisite style for conditioner Mike Mitchell. The gelded five-year-old was nearly last after a mile but flew home, getting his final quarter in a swift :23. The gelding could be a big player in marathon races this summer.
A Look Ahead
The Grade 2, $150,000 Marjorie L. Everett and the Grade 3, $100,000 Railbird are the graded races this weekend at Hollywood Park.
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