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Whittingham Field Taking Shape

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Neil Drysdale, who worked as an assistant for Charlie Whittingham and followed the late training legend into the Racing Hall of Fame, seeks a record-equaling seventh victory in the stake named after his mentor.


Two of three Drysdale nominees for the $250,000 Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on turf Saturday at Hollywood Park worked on the grass here Sunday.


Canadian import Marlang, with exercise rider Umberto Gomez, and Riviera Cocktail, exercise rider Jenelle Tomecek up, worked seven furlongs in tandem and could join Scintillo in the Whittingham. Scintillo, fourth in the Jim Murray Handicap in his United States debut here May 15, will be ridden by Martin Pedroza.


The race was won seven times by Whittingham when it was called the Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap before being renamed in his memory following his death in 1999. Late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel also won the race seven times, including last year with Midships.


Drysdale won with Both Ends Burning in 1985, Political Ambition in 1988, Storm Trooper in 1998, White Heart in 2000, Storming Home in 2003 and Artiste Royal in 2008.


Three other Whittingham candidates--Battle of Hastings, Rendezvous and Red Sun--also worked on turf.


Battle of Hastings, a multiple stakes winner who leads nominees in earnings with $1,171,141, worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.60. Tyler Baze has the call.

Rendezvous, third-place finisher in the Jim Murray, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for the Jerry Hollendorfer stable. Joe Talamo will ride.


Red Sun worked four furlongs in 47 under Victor Espinoza, who won the race last year on Midships. Trainer Carla Gaines, pleased with the work, will send the 4-year-old gelding beyond one mile for the first time in his career. He won four straight starts before a third-place finish in the San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate April 24.


Other probable starters include Jim Murray winner Acclamation (Christian Santiago Reyes), San Marcos Stakes winner Loup Breton (Rafael Bejarano), Porfido (David Flores) and Unusual Suspect (Alonso Quinonez).

 

 

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