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Bourbon Bay, Miss Match Work for Hollywood Turf Cup

Multiple stakes winner Bourbon Bay and Miss Match, a Grade I stakes-winning mare, worked seven furlongs on the Hollywood Park turf course Sunday morning for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Saturday.


Bourbon Bay was clocked in 1:29 under exercise rider Debra Biggs while Miss Match was timed in 1:29.40 with jockey Mike Smith to the satisfaction of trainer Neil Drysdale for the Grade I test at 1 ½ miles on turf.


Bourbon Bay, 5-year-old gelding who has won five graded stakes, seeks to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the Grade I Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine  September 18 in quest of his first Grade I score.


“He didn’t care for the course,” said Drysdale of the disappointing effort in Canada.


Bourbon Bay seeks to follow in the footsteps of his sire, Sligo Bay, who won the race in 2002. The only father-son team to win the Turf Cup in its 28-year history are Bien Bien in 1992 and Bienamado in 2000.


Garrett Gomez, who won the Turf Cup aboard Boboman in 2006 and Sunriver in 2007, seeks his third win in the race in the past five runnings.


Miss Match, a 6-year-old mare who won the Grade I Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita in March, will be ridden for the first time by Smith in a battle against males. “She needs distance,” explained Drysdale of choosing this spot for the Argentine-bred mare.


Champion Miss Alleged, a 4-year-old filly, is the only female to win the Turf Cup (1991), but others have been close. Megahertz finished second in 2004. Queen to Conquer (1981) and Zalataia (1983) were also second, and Trishyde (1992) was third. Treat Gently, the 2-1 second choice last year, finished fourth. 


Ashtar, winner of the Group I El Derby in Chile last February, worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.60 on the main track for trainer Ruben Cardenas. Hector Berrios will ride the 4-year-old Chilean-bred colt, who finished fourth in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Santa Anita in his fourth United States start October 2.


Sanagas, winner of the Grade III Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland in his last start October 20, is scheduled to be flown here Wednesday from trainer Graham Motion’s training center in Fair Hill, Md. The 5-year-old German-bred gelding by Lomitas has won six of nine starts and will have regular jockey Rajiv Maragh aboard.


Other probable starters are California Cup Classic winner Norvsky (Rafael Bejarano), Goldwaki (Brice Blanc) and Falcon Rock.



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