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Bourbon Bay Returns in Hirsch

Bourbon Bay will make his first start since winning the San Juan Capistrano Handicap on April 18 at Santa Anita against seven opponents in the Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship Presented by TVG.

Owned by David and Jill Heerensperger and trained by Neil Drysdale, Bourbon Bay wrapped a stellar Santa Anita winter-spring meet with his San Juan victory.

A 4-year-old son of Sligo Bay out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Coral Necklace, Bourbon Bay won three other races during the season. Two of them – like the Capistrano –were Grade II’s.

Bourbon Bay also took the San Luis Obispo and San Luis Rey Handicaps, enabling him to become only the third horse – joining Astray (1974) and Kotashaan (1993) to win all three races.

Third and fourth in two previous starts on the Hollywood Park turf course, Bourbon Bay will also be seeking his first win at the Hirsch distance of 1 ¼ miles. Overall, he has five wins in 13 tries and has banked $389,424.

Rafael Bejarano will ride Bourbon Bay. Like all other starters, the gelding will carry 124 pounds.

Champ Pegasus, who earned his first graded win when taking the Del Mar Handicap, a Grade II, on Aug. 29, will be seeking his fourth win in eight starts for owner-breeders Diamond A Racing Corporation and Arturo Vargas.

Trained by Richard Mandella, who has won the Hirsch on four occasions, the 4-year-old Fusaichi Pegasus colt and the Salt Lake mare Salt Champ has earned $208,520. In his last start at Hollywood Park, Champ Pegasus was second behind the Drysdale-trained Marlang, who was also entered in the Hirsch, in the Sunset Handicap on July 18.

Mandella will also be represented by Worth Repeating. Third in the Del Mar Handicap in his graded debut, the 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway and the A.P. Indy mare Lady Nichola has won two of 13 and banked $115,240 for Spendthrift Farm LLC. He won an allowance race locally on May 7.

After his wire-to-wire victory in the Sunset, Marlang, a 5-year-old Langfuhr horse and the Conquistador Cielo mare Marienburg owned by Gustav Schickendanz, finished last in the Sword Dancer, a Grade I, on Aug. 14 at Saratoga. The Canadian bred has won five of 16 while banking $560,712.

The field also includes Buenos Dias and Falcon Rock, who finished second and fourth, respectively, in the Del Mar Handicap, Unusual Suspect, who is winless in 11 starts in 2010 and the California bred Where’s the Remote.

Owned by Greg Unruh, the 4-year-old Unbridled Native gelding and the Corwyn Bay mare Sit Back’n Relax has won two in a row on grass for trainer Mike Mitchell. He’s 3-for-5 lifetime while earning $115,060.

The field, from inside out, for the 42nd Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship: Champ Pegasus, Joel Rosario rides, 124 pounds; Worth Repeating, Joe Talamo, 124; Where’s the Remote, Mike Smith, 124; Unusual Suspect, Patrick Valenzuela, 124; Marlang, Martin Garcia, 124; Bourbon Bay, Rafael Bejarano, 124; Falcon Rock, Corey Nakatani, 124 and Buenos Dias, Brice Blanc, 124.



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