Bayakoa draws 11 without Life is Sweet
The complexion of Saturday's $150,000 Bayakoa H. (G2) changed when the connections of Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) winner Life is Sweet (Storm Cat) decided to bypass it following a short rest. Her absence hurts the star quality of the 1 1/16-mile event at Hollywood Park, but it generated more appeal at the entry box, providing a much more interesting handicapping puzzle for bettors as a well-matched field of 11 distaffers will head to the starting gate.
Spinster S. (G1) third-placer TEAMGEIST (Arg) (Mutakkdim) is the 117-pound highweight. A multiple Group 2 queen in her native Argentina, the six-year-old mare will be looking for her first victory stateside in her fifth attempt. She'll switch back to a synthetic track following a fast-closing sixth in the grassy Las Palmas H. (G2) on the Breeders' Cup Friday undercard, and Alex Solis will pick up the mount for Kenny McPeek.
BRIECAT (Adcat), who posted a 13-1 wire-to-wire upset in the 2008 edition, will defend her title in the Bayakoa. Conditioned by Vladimir Cerin, the four-year-old finished second to Horse of the Year hopeful Zenyatta in the Vanity H. (G1) this summer and captured the Adoration S. at Del Mar two starts back. Martin Garcia will retain the mount on the 116-pound co-second highweight.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out a pair of potentially dangerous runners in LUCKY COPY (Unbridled's Song) and FLOATING HEART (Giant's Causeway). The former recorded a close second in the grassy Pucker Up S. (G3) last season and exits an 8 1/2-length allowance romp at Keeneland. The speedster will have to overcome the far outside post with new rider Rafael Bejarano. Floating Heart, the lone three-year-old filly in the line-up, will make her stakes debut off of a pair of allowance scores at Keeneland and Turfway Park. Joe Talamo will take over the reins.
Other contenders include stakes heroine SMOOTH PERFORMER (Benchmark), who exits a second over the Cushion Track in the November 15 Cat's Cradle H.; Grade 1-placed SILVER SWALLOW (Alphabet Soup), who will make her second start back off a freshening following a non-threatening sixth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1); multiple stakes queen ZARDANA (Brz) (Crimson Tide); and Las Palmas third-placer CAT BY THE TALE (Tale of the Cat).
Six three-year-olds will square off in the $50,000 Contested Bid S. earlier on the program. La Jolla H. (G2) third-placer GRETSKY (Toccet) and multiple stakes-placed GOLDEN MEXICO (Ire) (Daggers Drawn [GB]) are top contenders in the one-mile turf affair.
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