Photo: Hollywood Park
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was, understandably, in a
good mood Sunday morning.
Hollendorfer savored Tuscan Evening’s first Grade I
victory in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes Saturday while looking forward to sending
out Blind Luck as the prohibitive favorite in the $150,000 Grade II Hollywood
Oaks next Sunday.
“We’ll look at one more race before the Beverly D
(August 21 at Arlington Park) for Tuscan Evening,” said Hollendorfer,
indicating that the Beverly Hills Handicap or Royal Heroine Mile here or a prep
race at Arlington head the list of options.
“Blind Luck will blow out a half mile Tuesday,” said
Hollendorfer of the Kentucky Oaks winner. “She’s never been better.”
Hollendorfer explained that the Oaks at 1 1/16 miles
on Cushion Track fit the filly’s schedule well. “I didn’t want to fly her again
right now, and this race is coming up in a timely manner,” he said.
Blind Luck seeks to join Sharp Cat as the only filly
to win both the Hollywood Starlet and Hollywood Oaks. She completed the
unprecedented sweep in 1997.
Three other Starlet winners have come up short in the
Oaks: Sardula, second in 1994; Excellent Meeting, second in 1999; and Hollywood
Story, third in 2004.
Blind Luck, who has won seven of 10 starts and earned
$1,398,712, will again be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
Other probable starters include the John
Sadler-trained duo of Crisp and Switch, Melair Stakes Camille C, Vision In Gold
(Tyler Baze) and Andares World (Victor Espinoza). Trainer Steve Specht said
that Antares World, winner of the California Oaks and Golden Poppy Stakes, will
be shipped south from Golden Gate.
Crisp, the last horse to have beaten Blind
Luck--prevailing in a three-horse photo finish in the Santa Anita Oaks in
March--worked seven furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:26. But Sadler is not
anxious for a rubber match after finishing seventh behind her in the Kentucky
“No!” said trainer Sadler candidly when asked if he
looked forward to a rematch. “She’s just tough!”