MAY 1, 2013
by John Mucciolo
There was a single graded race over the opening weekend at Hollywood Park.
Wilshire H. (G3): Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer et al’s HALO DOLLY (Popular)
pressed the pace, took the lead in early stretch and stayed on to post a 1
1/2-length score for the red-hot barn of Jerry Hollendorfer. The five-year-old
mare, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, endured a mile on the firm turf in
From a total of 35 races held over the Inglewood, California, racetrack
during the past week, favorites won at a 26 percent clip and the top two betting
choices combined for 57 percent of the wins. From 27 frays contested on the
Cushion Track oval, six animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (22 percent), while
no horses went all the way on the lead from eight turf events.
While the turf didn’t produce any wire-to-wire winners, at least half of the
winners did track the pace while close up in second early, so we clearly would
not assume that the turf favors closers. Those statistics will change sooner
than later, as they often do at this venue.
We honestly didn’t have a great feel of this main oval coming off the Santa
Anita dirt meeting. Early on opening day speed was pretty good, but as the week
progressed, we saw winners from all over the place and consider this analysis to
be a work in progress.
In seems worthy of note that 25 of the 27 main-track winners broke from posts
|FAVORITES:||9 (26 percent)|
|2ND CHOICES:||11 (31 percent)|
|CUSHION WIRE:||6 (22 percent)|
HORSES TO WATCH
6TH — R S WATSON (Zanjero) led throughout and was never getting passed the
way we saw it. The Adam Kitchingman trainee faced a serious danger in early
stretch but kept that one at bay in a fine tally. Tab this one as a contender in
his debut with winners.
7TH — The lightly raced SUMMER EXCLUSIVE (Exclusive Quality) was all heart
in his turf debut in running down a clear leader who wasn’t stopping at all in
the stretch. Trained by Peter Miller, the sophomore colt could be a fine
one-turn horse with expected improvement from experience.
2ND — CALIFORNIA CHROME (Lucky Pulpit) ran a big second in this one for a
trainer who almost never wins with first time starters, so we’ll keep a close
eye on this colt in his second outing.
5TH — MASTER CHEF (Vronsky) showed a lot of resiliency in battling back
after being head in the lane in his first off the re-claim for Hollendorfer. The
six-year-old gelding loves this main oval and is always a player when properly
placed at this venue.
7TH — AIN (Aldebaran) made the classy, short-priced favorite work hard late
and nearly ran that one down in a fine showing under Joe Talamo when a close
second under the wire. The Carla Gaines pupil might have found his niche at
longer trips on the turf.
5TH – ROCK ME BABY (Rock Hard Ten) ran a big one after leading nearly all the
way, ultimately finishing second in a strong field. The Craig Dollase trainee
started his career in a maiden claiming event, and we’re pretty sure he won’t be
in for a tag for some time.
6TH — We liked SUPER ABILITY (Langfuhr) a lot coming into this one and the
Gaines pupil did not disappoint with a wire-to-wire score in sharp fashion. It
took a while for the five-year-old to get a few races under his belt, but now
that he has, we see why these connections were so patient with him.
7TH — TIZ MOLLY (Tiz Wonderful) showed a bit more early foot and closed
powerfully in the lane to remain unbeaten in two tries for Eric Kruljac. The
sophomore filly is surely of stakes quality and should be facing that type in
the near future.
A Look Ahead
Saturday will play host to the Grade 2, $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at