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Rookie Sensation the "Now" Horse in Hollywood Derby

Admiral Kitten 615 X 400
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Rookie Sensation, who earned his first graded victory in the Twilight Derby Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, will make his first appearance over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf in the Derby.

Trained by John Shirreffs for owner-breeder Stronach Stables, Rookie Sensation is a neck away from being undefeated in three starts on turf.

The Unbridled’s Song colt was second in his turf debut July 19 at Del Mar before winning an optional claimer over the same course Aug. 31 and posting an 8-1 upset in the Twilight Derby.

Out of the Stately Don mare My Marchesa, Rookie Sensation, who broke his maiden over Cushion Track June 16, has won three of five and earned $183,050.

Admiral Kitten and Jack Milton, the 2-3 finishers in the Grade I Jamaica Handicap Oct. 5 at Belmont Park, will make their first start in California Sunday, but both are well-traveled.

Owned by breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker, Admiral Kitten has won three of nine and earned $559,080. Only once has he been worse than second and already has a Grade I on his resume.


The Kitten’s Joy colt out of the Grand Slam mare Reachinforthestars won the Secretariat Aug. 17, defeating 12 opponents under jockey Rosie Napravnik.

Betfair Hollywood Park will be the seventh different track which Admiral Kitten has visited, joining Keeneland, Retama Park, Turfway Park, Churchill Downs, Arlington Park and Belmont.

The same holds true for Jack Milton, who has already competed at Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Penn National, Colonial Downs, Arlington Park and Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Owned by Gary Barber, the War Front colt out of the Forty Niner mare Preserver has won two of seven and banked $293,250. He has not been worse than third.

The Ramseys will also be represented by Amen Kitten, who was last seen winning the Grade III Tropical Park Oct. 12 at Calder.

A gelded son of Kitten’s Joy and the Pulpit mare Crumbs of Comfort, Amen Kitten, who is trained by Wesley Ward, has won twice in 15 starts and earned $123,749.

Infinite Magic was runner-up in the second division of the Grade II Del Mar Derby Sept. 1 in his previous visit to California.

Trained by Rick Mettee for Team Valor International, the son of More Than Ready and the Danehill Dancer mare Truly Enchanting has won four of 11 and has a bankroll of $218,302.


Dice Flavor has been off the board in two races since his upset at nearly 9-1 in the Grade II La Jolla Handicap Aug. 10 at Del Mar.

The son of Scat Daddy and the Afleet mare Afleet Summer has won three of 11 and earned $275,000 for Oda Racing Stable and US Equine and trainer Paddy Gallagher.

Seek Again will make his first start in this country after winning three of seven and earning $69,030 in England.

A son of Speightstown and the Danehill mare Light Jig, Seek Again is owned by breeder Juddmonte Farms, Inc. and trained by John Gosden, who won a division of the 1983 Derby with the filly Royal Heroine.

Gervinho comes off a third in the Twilight Derby for owner Keith Brackpool and trainer Carla Gaines. The son of Unusual Heat and the Nureyev mare Foreverinthegame has won three of seven and earned $287,140.

Dry Summer finished directly behind Gervinho in the Twilight Derby, beaten by 1 ½ lengths after setting the pace at 22-1.

Owned by Britt and House and trained by Jeff Mullins, the Any Given Saturday gelding out of the Street Cry mare Greenstreeet has won four of 12 and earned $235,930.

Irish Surf will make his initial start at BHP since he defeated maidens by 3 ¾ lengths going nine furlongs July 6.

Trained by Dan Hendricks, winner of the 2007 Derby with Daytona, for Thor-Bred Stable LLC and breeder Gainesway Farm, the Giant’s Causeway colt out of the Seattle Slew mare Surfside has won two of 12 and banked $121,610.

He’s been off the board in two starts in graded races. Irish Surf was ninth of 12 in the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship Sept. 29 before finishing seventh in the Twilight Derby.

From inside out, the field for the Hollywood Derby: Dice Flavor, Aaron Gryder rides, 122 pounds; Infinite Magic, Joe Talamo, 122; Gervinho, Rafael Bejarano, 122; Jack Milton, Joel Rosario, 122; Seek Again, Corey Nakatani, 122; Admiral Kitten, Julien Leparoux, 122; Dry Summer, Mike Smith, 122; Amen Kitten, Javier Castellano, 122; Rookie Sensation, Victor Espinoza, 122 and Irish Surf, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 122.

 
 

 

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