Photo: Hollywood Park
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella entered both
Blue Maiden and Miss Pleasant in the $100,000 Grade III Wilshire Handicap, a
wide-open race for fillies and mares at one mile on turf Saturday.
“I’m not sure how scared I’ve got ’em,” said Mandella
with his typical dry wit as he seeks a fourth win in the race, which would tie
leader Bobby Frankel.
“Blue Maiden is coming into good form,” said Mandella
of the English-bred 4-year-old filly. “She’s got a couple races in her this
year, she’s getting better, and she’s got some talent.”
Blue Maiden, who began her career in England, scored her only United States victory here in October on the Hollywood Park turf.
Miss Pleasant, a 5-year-old daughter of Pleasantly
Perfect, will make her first start since September. “I tried to get a
race on the main track for her and couldn’t,” explained Mandella. “She’s doing
well now and is ready to run.”
Blue Maiden will leave from post two under Martin
Garcia and Miss Pleasant from post five with Chantal Sutherland in a field of
Mandella first won this race with Now Pending in 1977
and repeated with Reluctant Guest in 1990 and Spring Star in 2004.
“Now Pending with Rudy Campas beat Swingtime in a big
upset,” recalled Mandella of his first Wilshire win 34 years ago when he was
just getting established.
“Reluctant Guest and Beautiful Melody ran one-two (in
1990) and came back to dead heat (for first) in the Beverly Hills Handicap,”