Race of the Week 2017

Blue White Fire Works for Generous

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Photo: Hollywood Park

Blue White Fire, an Irish invader for the $100,000 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds Sunday, worked three furlongs on Cushion Track in 35.80 seconds Wednesday.


“He breezed nicely,” said Jeff Hughes, assistant to trainer Dermot Weld. “He was in good form. He was in hand.”


Blue White Fire, victorious in one of four starts in Ireland, finished fifth in the Group II Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at one mile on a heavy Curragh course on September 25.


“He needs firm going,” said Hughes. Garrett Gomez will ride the colt in the Grade III test at one mile on grass. Other probable starters include Battle Force (Mike Smith), Handsome Mike (Rafael Bejarano), Major Magic (Joe Talamo), Senor Rain (Martin Garcia) and Stoney Fleece (Joel Rosario).


Major Magic worked five furlongs on turf in 1:01.40 for trainer Neil Drysdale.



Joss Saville, assistant to trainer Michael Matz, rewarded Assateague with a sweet in her stall in Barn 53 North Wednesday in preparation for the $100,000 Miesque Stakes Friday.


“She loves her sweets,” said Saville after the filly exercised on the main track for the second morning following her arrival Monday. She was shipped from Florida to Kentucky and flown here.


Assateague, named after an island inhabited by wild horses off the Virginia coast, drew post six in a field of eight and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, who guided her to a maiden score at Keeneland October 26.


Also on the flight was More Than Love, a maiden winner at Belmont for John Terranova, who was stabled in Barn 61 North with Bob Baffert.


English invader Island Paradise, victorious in one of two starts for trainer Charles Hills, drew the rail in the Miesque. She got a feel of the turf Wednesday morning and will remain here with Paddy Gallagher after the Miesque.



Trainer Mike Mitchell is mixing with elite company these days. Joining Charlie Whittingham in second place for Hollywood Park wins with 859 last week, the 63-year-old conditioner has only Frankel ahead of him at 952.


Mitchell is flattered to be mentioned with either of the late Hall of Famers. “Charlie was such a great horseman and such a neat guy, but I think Bobby was the greatest horseman I have ever seen,” said Mitchell Wednesday.


“I remember when I was getting started here working for Farrell Jones, we had an unbelievable meet here and won 52 races, but Bobby won something like 60,” recalled Mitchell.


“They were both great horsemen,” continued Mitchell. “Charlie bringing Cougar (II) back off a year’s layoff to win the Santa Anita Handicap was really something. I wouldn’t say that I patterned myself after Bobby, but I watched the way he did things more closely.”


Mitchell seeks his first victory in the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes Saturday with a pair of entrants--Pacific Ocean and Carbonite--in a field of nine.



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