Weight assignments have been issued for the Grade II, $250,000 Citation Handicap, which will be run Friday, Nov. 29 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The race at 1 1/16 miles kicks off the annual Turf Festival, which culminates Sunday with a pair of Grade I events – the $250,000 Hollywood Derby and $250,000 Matriarch.
Za Approval and Indy Point were handed top imposts at 123 and 122 pounds, respectively, but the expected starting co-highweights are B. J. Wright, La Penta et al’s Jeronimo
and Hronis Racing’s Vagabond Shoes
. Both were assigned 120 pounds.
Trained by Mike Pender, Jeranimo is no stranger to Betfair Hollywood Park, having captured the 2011 Citation as well as the Grade I Shoemaker Mile in 2012. The 7-year-old hasn’t slowed down with age, winning the Grade I Eddie Read this summer at Del Mar.
An Irish-bred, Vagabond Shoes was second, 1 1-2 lengths behind Jeranimo in the Eddie Read and is just now finding his best stride for John Sadler. The trainer also is considering starting Cicero Farms’ He Be Fire N Ice (118), 4-for-9 this year and runner-up in a pair of Grade II races.
Pegged at 119 pounds is Wertheimer and Frere’s Silentio
, fresh from a sharp third to reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile. The 4-year-old would be making his first start at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Heerensperger and Nelson’s Winning Prize
, also at 119, could be a rising star for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale. A multiple Grade I winner in his native Argentina, Winning Prize flirted with the track record at Del Mar, winning his U.S. debut by four lengths in a sparkling 1:32 4/5.
Others eyeing the Citation are Waterford Stable’s Summer Front
(trainer Christope Clemente, 118) Currin and Eisman’s My Best Brother
(Julio Canani, 116), Devereaux and Gross’ Big Bane Theory
(Carla Gaines, 115), and William Marks’ Bio Pro
(Howard Zucker, 115).