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Hollywood Park Meet Begins Thursday

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Three win streaks will be on the line in the $70,00 Harry Henson Stakes when Hollywood Park kicks off its 72nd Spring/Summer meet Thursday.

A six furlong turf race for 3-year-olds, the Henson is the seventh of eight races on the program. Post time is 1 p.m.

Owned by breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and trained by Steve Miyadi, Ain’t No Other arrives from Northern California with four consecutive wins. A gelded son of Old Topper and the Shadeed mare Miami Margie, Ain’t No Other finished a distant fourth in his debut last July 11 at Pleasanton, but is since perfect. His three most recent wins came over the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields.

The California bred has earned $71,360. The Henson will be his first race on grass.

Gig Harbor is 2-for-2 at Golden Gate for owner Daniel O’Neill and trainer Steve Specht. He has a right to enjoy turf being a son of City Zip and out of the St. Jovite mare Miss Blue Grass. Idle since remaining undefeated with a 3 ¼ length score Feb. 19, Gig Harbor has earned $36,600.

After finishing third in his United States debut Jan. 13, Diamond Geezah won back-to-back races down the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

An Irish bred son of Diamond Dancer and the Selkirk mare Lanark Belle, Diamond Geezah will be making his first start for new connections in the Henson. He was claimed for $80,000 by trainer Ted H. West for owner Peter Redekop March 10. The bay colt has three wins in 11 outings and a bankroll of $105,674.

Robie the Cat is the only member of the field with experience over the Hollywood Park grass. The Distorted Humor colt earned his maiden victory at the Henson distance last Dec. 12. Owned by breeder Diamond A Racing Corporation and trained by Richard Mandella, Robie the Cat has one win in five tries and has earned $35,120.

Last after setting the pace in the Sunland Derby March 27, Sinai shortens up and switches to turf as he seeks his second win for trainer Bob Baffert. Owned by Ahmed Zayat, the son of Rockport Harbor and the Machiavellian mare Dontgetinmyway, Sinai earned his maiden victory over Cushion Track in his debut last Dec. 18. He has earned $35,472 in four races.

Boxeurs des Rues will be making his first appearance since finishing fifth in the Generous Stakes, a Grade III, here last Nov. 27. A Smart Strike colt out of the Caerleon mare Marseille Express, Boxeur des Rues has one win in three starts and has earned $8,082. Doug O’Neill trains for owner J. Paul Reddam.

A son of Holy Ground and the Odyle mare Brooks N Boots, Eric the Ram is a maiden.  Owned by Green Grass Stable and trained by Ruben Cardenas, Eric the Ram has started eight times. His best finish is a pair of thirds. He has banked $18,240.

From inside out, the field for the Harry Henson: Robie the Cat, Rafael Bejarano rides, 117 pounds; Gig Harbor, Frank Alvarado, 119; Sinai, Martin Garcia, 117; Diamond Geezah, Joe Talamo, 119; Eric the Ram, Luis Medina, 117; Boxeur des Rues, Joel Rosario, 117 and Ain’t No Other, Patrick Valenzuela, 121.

During the 54-day meet, post time is 1 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays along with the usual 7:05 p.m. start Friday nights. The lone Friday exception is a 1 p.m. start May 6-- Kentucky Oaks Day and the eve of the Kentucky Derby.

There will be three other post time differences – all relating to the Triple Crown - during the season, which concludes Sunday, July 17.

Post time will be 11 a.m. Kentucky Derby Day – Saturday, May 7 – as well as :Preakness Day (May 21) and Belmont Stakes Day (June 11).

There are two deviations from the usual Thursday-Sunday schedule. Hollywood Park will have Monday racing May 30 (Memorial Day) and July 4.

Regular prices are $8 for general admission and $20 for Turf Club. Seniors 55 and older will receive a $3 discount – with Gold Club card – Thursdays. All prices include parking and an official program.

Opening day will also feature the debut of the Player’s Pick 5. A 50 cent minmum bet, the wager will cover the first five races daily and features a takeout of 14%, the smallest for any bet offered in California. There is also a carryover provision should no one be able to isolate all five winners with 70% of the net pool carrying over to the next racing day.

Highlighting a stakes schedule worth more than $5.2 million are the $250,000 American Oaks and the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.

The 10th running of the American Oaks will be Saturday, July 16 along with the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap and the $100,000 Landaluce.

When the Gold Cup is run for the 72nd time Saturday, July 9, the program will also include the $150,000 Swaps Stakes.

There are 49 stakes on the calendar, including seven Grade 1 events, 10 Grade II races and 10 Grade III’s. There are 10 days with multiple stakes races, commencing with the $785,000 California Gold Rush Saturday.

The first Grade 1 is the $250,000 Gamely Stakes Monday, May 30 for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.





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