Photo: Hollywood Park
Trainer John Sadler finalized work
in his stable office at Hollywood
Thursday morning before catching a flight to New York City.
Sadler entered horses in two stakes
here this weekend as well as two at Belmont Park
Sadler entered Dave In Dixie in the
Belmont Stakes and Crisp in the Acorn Stakes after shipping the pair east on
Tuesday. He also entered Cost of Freedom in the Los Angeles Handicap Saturday
and Switch in the Hollywood Oaks Sunday.
Sadler smiled about drawing the rail
in a field of 12 in the Belmont
with jockey Calvin Borel. “Drawing number one is perfect with Bo-Rail,” quipped
Sadler. “That’s where he’s going to be anyway.”
Sadler also was happy with Crisp
drawing outside in a 13-horse field in the Acorn. “If you draw 13 at a mile in California,
you slit your wrists,” said Sadler. “But at Belmont,
it’s a one-turn mile. She will have plenty of time to get position and drop
Unbeaten Railbird Stakes winner
Tanda and third-place Hollywood Starlet finisher Amen Hallelujah also have Hollywood Park ties in
Sadler expressed optimism about California
shippers in the race on the strength of the showings of Blind Luck and
Evening Jewel in major eastern stakes.
Sadler thinks Cost of Freedom is the
horse to beat in the Grade III Los Angeles at six furlongs on Cushion Track. “I
think he’s 6-5,” predicted Sadler of the odds. “He won a very fast race over this
course. And he’s won with weight before.”
Cost of Freedom, a 7-year-old
California-bred gelding, seeks to become the oldest horse to win the race since
Kona Gold at 8 in 2002. He leaves from post three in a field of eight with
regular rider Tyler Baze under high weight of 122 pounds.
Cost of Freedom, who won the 2008
Grade I Ancient Title Stakes at Santa Anita under 124, comes off a sizzling 4
½-length allowance/optional claiming score in 1:08.36 here May 6.
Sadler, tied with Buster Millerick
for most wins in the race with four, seeks undisputed leadership. Top
competition is expected from M One Rifle, who leaves from the outside for
trainer Bruce Headley, a three-time winner.
Sadler concedes that Switch will
need her best race for a chance to upset Blind Luck in the Oaks. “We were close
to Blind Luck the last time we met,” said Sadler of a third-place finish in the
Las Virgenes Stakes, a half-length behind winner Blind Luck.
“But Blind Luck
should be pretty prohibitive.”