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Tres Borrachos gears up for Native Diver

09 July 11: Tres Borrachos gets the early lead before Jose Valdivia Jr. rguides Rail Trip to victory in the 70th running of the grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap for three year olds and upward at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California.

Tres Borrachos, a rejuvenated veteran with a history of past success at Hollywood Park, is expected to face two newcomers to the track in the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap, a Grade III test at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track Saturday.


“He worked great yesterday, and he’s run well on this track,” said trainer Marty Jones Sunday in reference to a five-furlong drill in 1:02.60 Saturday.


Tres Borrachos, a 6-year-old gelding, has won just four of 34 lifetime starts, but three of them have been on this surface, including a victory in the 2008 Swaps Stakes. He also finished second in the 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup.


Tres Borrachos awakened from a 13-race losing streak to win the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in July and finish a closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his last outing. Joel Rosario has the call back.


The two new faces in the Native Diver belong to the well-traveled Eldaafer and Rescue Squad, shipped here from New York by Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.


“He’ll probably runs if it comes up light,” said trainer Brian Koriner, who has taken over the training of Eldaafer, shipped to Santa Anita after a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon.


Eldaafer, a 6-year-old gelding, won the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in 2010, a year after he captured the Brooklyn Handicap. Victorious in 11 of 32 starts, Eldaafer has raced at 13 different tracks.


Rescue Squad, a 5-year-old horse, has won only three of 16 starts but is two-for-two on synthetic surfaces, including an allowance victory at Keeneland at 1 1/8 miles in his last outing on October 21.


“I think he’s here because he’s done well on Polytrack before,” said Jennifer Patterson, assistant to McGaughey. “This was kind of the next step.


“He’s done great since he got here,” said Patterson of the horse, who was flown here Monday. “He seems to really like the track. He’s going to breeze tomorrow.” Hall of Famer Mike Smith will ride Rescue Squad for the first time.


Trainer John Sadler said he is considering both Gladding, winner of the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita, and Kettle Corn, a recent allowance winner, for the Native Diver.


Summer Movie, another Native Diver nominee, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 Sunday.



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