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Ultra Blend Tackles Baffert Trio in A Gleam

October30, 2010.Ultra Blend riden by Joel Rosario wins TheTOC/CTT California Cup Matron at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA._Cynthia Lum/Eclipse Sportswire.com
Ultra Blend, who won the Grade II Milady Handicap May 21 due to the disqualification of St Trinians, will cut back in distance for Saturday's Grade 2 A Gleam at Hollywood Park.


Trained by Art Sherman for owner Nels Erickson, the 5-year-old Richly Blended mare out of the Desert Classic mare Ankha has won five of her last six.  The Milady was the second stakes win of the Spring/Summer meet for the California bred mare. Ultra Blend had captured the B. Thoughtful California Gold Rush Day (April 23).


A winner of four consecutive races over Cushion Track, Ultra Blend has won 10 of 21 and earned  $625,646.


Bob Baffert, the leading trainer at the Spring/Summer meet in terms of both wins (34) and stakes victories (seven), entered a trio in the A Gleam – American Story, Fund Raiser and Irish Gypsy.


Owned by Kaleem Shah, American Story shortens up after finishing last in the Grade I Vanity Handicap June 18. The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper and the Meadowlake mare Holiday Runner has won three of seven, earning $189,200. This will be her first start around one turn since she won her debut at 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 6, 2010 at Del Mar.


A 5-year-old Harlan’s Holiday mare out of the Unreal Zeal mare Zealous Folia, Fund Raiser has won four of 14 and earned $217,059 for owner Arnold Zetcher.


Owned by Mike Pegram and John Sikura, Irish Gypsy comes off consecutive wins in the Valid Expectations May 30 at Lone Star Park and the Desert Stormer Handicap here June 19. The 5-year-old daughter of Hennessy and the Relaunch mare Rayelle has won five of 13 and banked $239,420.


Tanda will seek to end a four race losing streak in the A Gleam. Trained by Dan Hendricks for Tommy Hutton’s Dream Stable LLC, the 4-year-old Sweetsouthernsaint filly and the In Excess mare Doc’s Stormy Girl hasn’t won since taking the Grade III Railbird Stakes May 5, 2010. Like the A Gleam, the Railbird is run at seven furlongs over Cushion Track.


A Florida bred, Tanda has won four of 10 and banked $232,626.


Winless in five 2011 starts, Washington Bridge will be seeking her third stakes win at Hollywood Park for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who co-owns the 4-year-old with Mark DeDomenico LLC.


A daughter of Yankee Gentleman and the Prized mare Stirling Bridge, Washington Bridge has won five of 23 while earning $255,775. Her local stakes wins were the restricted Life Is Sweet Stakes last Nov. 12 and the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap 23 days later.


Winner of the Grade I Madison April 14 over the Polytrack at Keeneland, Shotgun Gulch will make her Hollywood Park debut for owner-breeder-trainer C.R. Trout. The 4-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch and the Boston Harbor mare Rosieville has won seven of 18 and earned $488,309. Since arriving in Southern California, Shotgun Gulch has been stabled with trainer Bruce Jackson.


Trainer Brian Koriner, who won the 2010 A Gleam with Sweet August Moon, will try for a repeat with Church Camp.


Owned by Pete Parrella’s Legacy Ranch, Inc., Judith Carmel and Bill Strauss, Church Camp has won four of 10 while earning $146,420. She has been no better than fifth in three previous appearances in graded races.


If Church Camp wins, Koriner will become the third trainer in a row to win the A Gleam in successive years.  Hollendorfer won with Somethinaboutlaura (2006-2007) and John Sadler repeated with Dearest Trickski (2008) and Evita Argentina (2009).


Mildly Offensive will make her first appearance over Cushion Track for owner Warren Williamson and trainer Carla Gaines. Fourth in the Manhattan Beach Stakes on turf June 18, the Sharp Humor filly out of the Personal Flag mare It’s Personal is 2-for-3 with a bankroll of $96,762.


If Mildly Offensive defeats her elders Saturday, she would become the fourth 3-year-old to win the A Gleam, joining Evita Argentina (2009), Honeymoon (1946) and Painted Veil (1941). The race was known as the Sequoia Handicap when Honeymoon and Painted Veil won.


From inside out, the field for the A Gleam: Church Camp, Alonso Quinonez rides, 114 pounds; Fund Raiser, Rafael Bejarano, 118; American Story, Joel Rosario, 115; Ultra Blend, David Flores, 119; Irish Gypsy, Martin Garcia, 120; Mildly Offensive, Chantal Sutherland, 112; Washington Bridge, Joe Talamo, 115; Tanda, Victor Espinoza, 117 and Shotgun Gulch, Mike Smith, 119.


The A Gleam, which will be run for the 57th time, is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ event. The Breeders’ Cup nominated winner of the race will earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. Additionally, the winner of the A Gleam will have BC pre-entry and entry fees waived and receive a $10,000 travel allowance.

 

 

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