A trio of Bob Baffert runners are among a field of eight or nine
expected for Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000-guaranteed Mervyn LeRoy
Handicap, the first major steppingstone to the Grade I, $500,00
Hollywood Gold Cup July 6.
Liaison (Martin Garcia), winner of the 2011 CashCall Futurity on
Cushion Track and the Santana Mile March 31 at Santa Anita, and Guilt
Trip, winner of the Grade II Strub Stakes Feb. 2, head the Baffert
contingent. Hoorayforhollywood (no rider) is listed as possible.
Other likely participants are 2011 Native Diver Handicap winner
Kettle Corn (trainer John Sadler), Blueskiesnrainbows (Hall of Famer
Jerry Hollendorfer, jockey Tyler Baze), winner of the Grade II Swaps
Stakes in 2012 at Betfair Hollywood Park, and Oilisblackgold (Craig
Dollase, Edwin Maldonado).
Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s assistant, said Rousing Sermon has been
training super and could join Blueskiesnrainbows in the starting gate.
John Scott, scratched from the Tiznow Stakes April 27, is unlikely for the LeRoy.
“He hasn’t fully recovered from a recent illness,” declared trainer
Carla Gaines. “It’s nothing serious, but he just hasn’t been working
like himself. His blood count is OK but we were hoping for more of a
spark by the weekend.”
Gaines left open the possibility of running Midnight Transfer in the
LeRoy. “He’s an enigma,’’ she said of the 4-year-old Hard Spun colt.
“We’re not sure if he wants to sprint or route and we’re going to take
some more time to make a decision.”