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Rail Trip Ready for Californian

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Trainer Ron Ellis is orchestrating a sequel to The Avengers, starring Rail Trip. The 5-year-old gelding avenged a loss as the beaten favorite in the 2009 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap by scoring a facile victory in the 1 1/16-mile race here on May 8.

Rail Trip hopes to duplicate the script in The Californian Saturday, a race in which he finished second as the favorite last year. “We’re out to avenge those losses,” said Ellis Sunday, happy with the way the Jay Em Ess Stable standard-bearer is coming up to the $150,000 Grade II test at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track.

“He’s been awesome since his last race,” said Ellis, pleased with a bullet six-furlong work in 1:12.80 Friday. “He’s ready to go.”

Rail Trip, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup last year, has won seven of 10 starts and earned $877,790. Rafael Bejarano, who won The Californian with Heatseeker in 2008, has the call. Ellis sent out Buzzards Bay to victory in the 2007 Californian.

Other probable starters include Tres Borrachos (Victor Espinoza), Cigar Man (Joe Talamo), Slew’s Tiznow (David Flores) and One Track Mind (Tyler Baze). Cigar Man worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 for Vladmir Cerin.

Aitcho and the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Sangaree and Spurrier head a list of possibles.







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