Ashleyluvssugar stands out in Hollywood Turf Cup
November 24, 2016 09:05am

Ashleyluvssugar, a creditable fifth behind Highland Reel in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita November 5, is the probable favorite Friday in the Grade II $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup at the marathon route of a mile and one-half over Del Mar’s infield grass course.
Co-highweighted at 124 pounds under allowance conditions, Ashleyluvssugar will have Hall of Famer Gary Stevens in the saddle versus Ralis, 116, Mario Gutierrez; Royal Albert Hall, 120, Kent Desormeaux; Flamboyant, also at 124, with Mike Smith; Texas Ryano, 120, Joe Talamo; Quick Casablanca, 122, Tyler Baze, and Power Foot, 120, Drayden Van Dyke.
Ashleyluvssugar, a five-year-old gelded son of Game Plan trained by Peter Eurton, was beaten six and one-quarter lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. In his previous two races, he was a nose winner over Metaboss in the Del Mar Handicap last August and then won the John Henry Turf Classic at Santa Anita in early October. Additionally, he was beaten only a half-length by Midnight Storm in the Eddie Read Stakes last July. The versatile runner is closing in on the million dollar mark in earnings, with $967,504 in the bank currently.
Seeking to recapture his form of last winter will be French-bred Flamboyant from the barn of trainer Paddy Gallagher. He won the San Gabriel and San Marcos at Santa Anita prior to an unsuccessful journey to Meydan where he was fifth in the Grade I Dubai Turf Cup. He was a narrowly beaten third in the Eddie Read upon his return but ran eighth in both the subsequent Del Mar Handicap and John Henry.
Although winless in six races this year, Texas Ryano poses a stretch-running threat. He was sixth in the BC Turf, closing ground in the stretch, but prior to that effort he was a length behind Ashleyluvssugar in the Del Mar Handicap and beaten only a half-length by that same rival in the John Henry.
Three-year-old Ralis’ best race of 2016 was his runner-up finish, only a half-length back, to Free Rose in the Del Mar Derby in the summer. Royal Albert, who will have blinkers on Friday, was third in an optional claiming race in October; Quick Casablanca, winner of the San Juan Capistrano last winter, was fifth in the Marathon on dirt on Breeders’ Cup weekend Nov. 4, while Power Foot comes into the Hollywood Turf Cup after running fifth in the Kentucky Turf Cup September 10 at Kentucky Downs.
Post time for the first of eight races is 12:30 p.m.

Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club


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