Complete analysis (with suggested wagers) of all the Hollywood Turf Festival stakes starting Friday and running through Sunday.
Race 5-Miesque Stakes Gd. 2-1 Mile Turf 2 Year Old Fillies
Of the 7 entrants only 3 have raced on turf and 5 at a route with 2 of those victorious. #6 Assateague and #7 More Than Love falls in both of those categories and lies over this field. With a lack of early speed signed on, both runners have tactical speed that should help them get beneficial trips. More Than Love will be the top pick even though Assateague defeated her in the debut effort. Even with her tactical speed, More Than Love owns the best late pace figures of the route runners. #5 Katie’s Ten stretches out coming off a 4th place finish in a sprint stakes at Golden Gate. Sired by the versatile Rock Hard Ten, Katie’s Ten dam, Hawayil has had 3 offspring reach the winner’s circle with 2 of those winning on the grass. A move grass route racing can only help Katie’s Ten chances. Bred for turf, European invader Island Paradise is another one to watch though she has not run on turf yet with both efforts being on Polytrack, sprinting at Kempton Park.
Bet-$4 trifecta 6-7/6-7/1-2-4-5=$32 and $2 trifecta 6-7/1-2-4-5/6-7=$16 $2 trifecta 7/6/1-2-4-5=$8
Race 9-Matriarch Stakes Gd. 1-1 Mile Turf Fillies 3 & Up
Trainer Graham Motion sends the 3-headed-monster of #1 Unbridled Humor, #2 Summer Soiree and #5 Gypsy’s Warning from the East Coast in attempt to capture California’s top prize for turf females. All appear to have a good chance to land the top prize, but don’t tell that to trainer Chris Block would sends out the always underestimated Grade 1 winner, #8 Never Retreat. It appears that Summer Soiree will face some pace pressure from #3 Quiet Oasis, while Unbridled Humor and Never Retreat will sit stalking trips just off the front runners. I will look for Never Retreat to first jump on deep closers Gypsy’s Warning, #7 Star Billing and #6 All Star Heart while having comparable late pace figures to those. Defending champion, Gypsy’s Warning will relish a return to firm turf and run on late to get a piece. Star Billing returns home from a dull effort in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup. A cut back in distance should help Star Billing’s late kick, and she has been working forwardly for this race with her last 3 workouts getting progressively faster at 5 furlongs.
Race 9-Citation Handicap. Gd. 2-1 1/16 Miles 3 & Up
The pace for this race looks like it will be extremely fast with #7 Bob Black Jack and #8 Assessment cutting out the early fractions. Though favorite #2 Jeranimo is has found himself near the lead in his last 2 starts, he is a versatile runner and with a switch to patient rider, Garrett Gomez, expect Jeranimo to lay off the pace today. With an insured quick pace, I will look to graded-stakes-newcomer, #5 War Element, to gobble up the field late for the victory. War Element broke slowly in his last race, and closed furiously into a slow pace to finish 4th in Santa Anita’s Lure Stakes. He is reunited with jockey Joel Rosario and ripped off a 4 furlong workout in 46 3/5 seconds on 11/18 in preparation for this. #9 John Johny Jak is a very consistent sort that is must include in all exotics. #1 Calimonco is consistent as well, but tends to “hang” a bit, though he owns a win over John Johny Jak earlier this summer at Del Mar.
Bet $10 Win & Place #5=$20 $1 trifecta 5/1-2-7/ALL=$21 $1 trifecta 1-2-7/5/ALL=$21
Race 5-Generous Stakes Gd. 3-1 Mile Turf 2 Year Olds
#2 Blue White Fire invades from Europe and appears to be dropping in class after running in a Grade 2 stakes at The Curragh. Trainer Delmot Weld has a history of success with European invaders and Blue White Fire appears as if he will like a trip to the Golden State, since he prefers good to firm turf. #3 Motown Men, #4 Senor Rain, #5 Got Even are bona fide front runners that will insure a fast pace that should prove beneficial to closers like recent maiden graduate, #7 Battle Force and #9 Devil in Disguise. #1 Handsome Mike and #6 Major Magic are recent turf sprint winners stretching out, the latter is moving into turf master, Neil Drysdale’s barn and sports evenly spaced works (7 days apart) while building in length signaling a top effort.
Bet $2 trifecta 2/6-7-9/ALL=$42 $1 trifecta 6-7-9/2/ALL=$21
Race 9-Hollywood Derby Gd. 1-1 1/4 Miles Turf 3 Year Olds
In a very contentious renewal of the Hollywood Derby, I will lean toward #6 Venomous as my top pick. He encountered a ton of traffic trouble when a late closing 2nd in the Oak Tree Derby. With any less trouble and an extra furlong to run, Venomous has a great chance to be in the winner’s circle. Multiple graded stakes winner, #12 Willcox Inn ships in from Chicago for trainer Michael Stidham. Stidham is very good with shippers hitting at an 18% rate. Willcox Inn is very consistent while only finishing off the board once on grass in Arlington’s Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes and must be included in all exotic wagers. #4 Western Aristocrat comes off a front-running victory in the Grade 1 Jamaica Stakes at Belmont Park. He will not be alone on the front end as recent Oak Tree Derby winner, #11 Ultimate Eagle likes to run on the front end as well. #3 Slumber is coming of a victory in a listed stakes in England at 1 ¼ miles and should be regarded as a serious contender. In fact, Slumber is the only runner to win at today’s distance and he’s done it twice.
Bet $20 Win & Place #6=$40
Since 11/18 Total Bets=$60, Cashes=$114, Profit=$54
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