In Saturday's Grade 1 Triple Bend at Betfair Hollywood Park, Smiling Tiger will be trying to become only the
second repeat winner of the Triple Bend – joining Porterhouse, who won
what was then called the Lakes and Flowers Handicap in 1955 and 1956 for
Llangollen Farm and trainer Charlie Whittingham.
Trained by Jeff Bonde for owners Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz, the
5-year-old Hold that Tiger horse is 0-for-5 since wiring the field in
the 2011 Triple Bend last July 2.
Two of those defeats have come in a pair of Grade II races this
year. Smiling Tiger was fifth in the Churchill Downs May 5 in Louisville
and third in the True North Handicap June 9 at Belmont Park.
Perfect in three races over Cushion Track, Smiling Tiger is 8-for-20 in his career with a bankroll of $1,267,204.
Undefeated in four races at seven furlongs, The Factor has been idle
since finishing sixth in the Group I, $2 million Dubai Gold Shaheen
March 31 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.
Owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable and trained by Hall of
Famer Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old War Front colt out of the Miswaki mare
Greyciousness has won six of 11 and earned $812,180.
The Triple Bend, which Baffert won in 1996 with Letthebighossroll,
will be The Factor’s first start at Betfair Hollywood Park since he
finished fourth as the 7-10 choice in his debut Nov. 28, 2010.
A winner in his 2012 debut on the Golden Gate Fields turf June 9,
Comma to the Top returns to the scene of his biggest victory for owners
Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara and trainer Peter
The 4-year-old Bwana Charlie gelding out of the Stormy Atlantic mare
Maggies Storm won three times over Cushion Track during the 2010 Autumn
season, earning him Horse of the Meet honors. He began with a win in
the Real Quiet Stakes, followed with a score in the Grade III
Generous in his first race on turf, then completed a lucrative six
weeks with a 1 ¾ length decision in the Grade I CashCall Futurity.
Bred in Florida by Richard and Linda Thompson, Comma to the Top has won eight of 18 and earned $835,300.
Runner-up in the 2011 Triple Bend, Camp Victory will be seeking his
first victory as a 5-year-old for a partnership and trainer Mike
A gelded son of Forest Camp and the Clever Trick mare Victory Trick,
Camp Victory is seven for 22 with earnings of $367,986. He’s been third
in both of his 2012 outings, including the Grade III Los Angeles Handicap May 28 where he finished 2 ¾ lengths behind winner Roman Threat.
Claimed for $40,000 by his current connections almost 17 months ago,
Camp Victory has since won two of nine. One of the wins came via
disqualification in the 2011 Los Angeles Handicap.
Mobilized returns to Cushion Track after finishing fifth in the
American Handicap. A California bred son of Soul of the Matter and the
Red Ransom mare Valleyofthebells, the 6-year-old has six wins in 23
races and a bankroll of $363,080.
Trained by Gary Mandella for Double JH Stables Inc. and the Estate
of breeder Robert Reseigne, Mobilized won the Tiznow Stakes for
California breds by 7 ¼ lengths in his last start over the Betfair
Hollywood Park main April 28.
Away since finishing seventh of 10 in the Grade II Charles Town
Classic April 14, Tres Borrachos will be aiming for his fourth win over
Trained by Marty Jones for owners George Hicker and Button Stable,
the 7-year-old Ecton Park gelding has won four of 38 and earned
$929,257. His most significant win locally was an 11-1 surprise in the
2008 Swaps Stakes when in the barn of trainer Beau Greely.
Winning the Triple Bend with a 7-year-old wouldn’t be a first for
Jones. The trainer upset Surf Cat in 2007 with 9-1 outsider Bilo.
Trainer John Sadler, whose lone Triple Bend victory came with
Ceeband in 2001, is scheduled to send out the duo of Italian Rules and
Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber, Italian Rules has won eight of 25
and earned $397,940. Four of those victories have come in six races
since the 7-year-old was claimed for $40,000 March 6, 2011. The
California bred is a son of Tribal Rule and the Half a Year mare Golden
Don Tito, who is owned by the Barbers and Larry Nestadt, has four
wins in 16 starts and earnings of $171,943. The 5-year-old Trippi horse
out of the Southern Halo mare Another Moochie has been unplaced in his
two previous attempts in Grade I races. He was eighth in the 2010 Malibu
at Santa Anita and fifth in the 2011 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar.
Second behind Roman Threat in the Los Angeles, Centralinteligence
has won three of eight and earned $134,550 for Amerman Racing Stables LLC,
Bongo Racing and Gary Finder and trainer Ron Ellis. The 4-year-old
Smarty Jones gelding out of the Seattle Slew mare Shootforthestars has a
win and two seconds in three races over Cushion Track.
From inside out, the field for the Triple Bend Handicap: Tres
Borrachos, Victor Espinoza rides, 116 pounds; Centralinteligence, Jose
Valdivia, Jr., 116; Mobilized, Garrett Gomez, 116; Don Tito, Martin
Pedroza, 113; Camp Victory, Joe Talamo, 116; The Factor, Rafael
Bejarano, 123; Smiling Tiger, Mike Smith, 119; Comma to the Top, Juan
Hernandez, 118 and Italian Rules, Kevin Krigger, 114.