Dakota Phone, who scored the
biggest win of his career in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 6 at
Churchill Downs, heads a field of seven in the $100,000 Native Diver
A Grade III at 1 1/8 miles over
Cushion Track, the Native Diver will be run for the 32nd time
Saturday at Hollywood
Park. Post time is 12:30
p.m. The Native Diver is the eighth of nine races.
Owned by a partnership that
includes John Carver, Halo Farms, George Todaro and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer,
Dakota Phone rallied from last in the Dirt Mile, prevailing by a head at 37-1.
The win was the sixth in 32 starts
for the 5-year-old gelded son of Zavata and the Spinning World mare World of
Gold. He basically doubled his career earnings with the shocker, pushing his
bankroll to $1,273,810.
If successful, he would be the
first Breeders’ Cup winner to return and capture the Native Diver. Alphabet
Soup won the race in 1995, some 11 months before he upset Cigar in the
Breeders’ Cup Classic at Woodbine.
Third behind Richard’s Kid and Crown
of Thorns in the Goodwood Stakes in his last start over Cushion Track, Dakota
Phone is seeking his first win at nine furlongs. He is 0-for-7 at the trip.
Trainer Paddy Gallagher entered
both Soul Candy and Aggie Engineer.
Owned by E Z Eight Racing Stable
and Madera Thoroughbreds, Soul Candy comes off a win in the California Cup
Classic at the Native Diver distance. The 4-year-old Birdonthewire gelding out
of the Lil Tyler mare Just Satisfaction had raced exclusively on turf prior to
that 1 ¼ length win. He’s won four of 10 and earned $205,300.
Aggie Engineer also enters with a
win in his last start, scoring as the favorite in an optional claimer Oct. 22.
The 5-year-old gelded son of E Dubai and the
Dixieland Band mare Papalma has won five of 15 and earned $208,280 for
owner-breeders Ward and Roberta Williford.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert
will seek his second Native Diver win – General Challenge provided the first in
1999 - with Spurrier. Owned by Arnold Zetcher, the 5-year-old Dixieland Band
horse and the Valiant Nature mare Humble has won five of 24, banking $256,947.
A winner of three of five over the
main track, Spurrier has been idle since finishing fourth as part of an odds-on
entry in the Ralph M. Hinds Handicap Sept. 26 at Fairplex Park.
Philatelist will try to give
Humberto Ascanio a second win in a row in the Native Diver. Ascanio, who won in
2009 with Mast Track, would be the first trainer to repeat since Richard
Mandella won three in succession. Gentleman began the streak for Mandella in
1996, followed by Refinado Tom (1997) and Puerto Madero (1998). Mandella has a
record seven Native Diver victories.
Owned by Johanna Glen-Teven,
Philatelist has won five of 26. The 6-year-old son of Rahy and the Polish
Precedent mare Potent has earned $149,722. Philatelist hasn’t raced since
finishing fourth as the 8-5 favorite in the Tokyo City Handicap March 27 at
Trained by Kristin Mulhall for
Sisters in Racing Stable and Jeff Siskin, Romp had an extremely rough trip in
the Breeders’ Cup Marathon Nov. 5. The 6-year-old Incurable Optimist gelding
out of the Hidden Prize mare Stormy Secret has won twice in three tries over
Cushion Track, including a nose win in an Oct. 21 allowance Oct. 21 during the
Oak Tree meet. The Argentine bred has won four of 42 and banked $221,643.
Completing the cast is Achak, who
has won two of three since being claimed for $50,000 July 25 at Del Mar.
After finishing seventh in his
first for trainer Mike Mitchell and owners Brown, Brown and Little Red Feather
Racing, the 4-year-old gelding has won optional claimers over both Cushion
Track and turf. The Irish bred son of Invincible Spirit and the Distant
Relative mare She’s So Lovely has five wins in 20 races. His bankroll is
From inside out, the field for the
Native Diver Handicap: Philatelist, Garrett Gomez rides, 114 pounds; Romp, Mike
Smith, 114; Soul Candy, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Aggie Engineer, Joe Talamo, 116;
Dakota Phone, Joel Rosario, 123; Achak, Alonso Quinonez, 114 and Spurrier,
Victor Espinoza, 115.