Setsuko Finally Returns in Native Diver


Setsuko, who was second in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap in 2011 and 2012, will make his first start as a 6-year-old in Saturday's Native Diver at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Trained by Mandella for the Wertheimers, who bred the gelding in Kentucky, the son of Pleasantly Perfect has been away since finishing 3 ½ lengths behind Ron the Greek in the Big `Cap March 3 of last year.

Out of the Mr. Prospector mare Dance With Grace, Setsuko has won twice in 18 starts and banked $656,486. He earned his maiden win over Cushion Track Dec. 17, 2009.

A Saturday victory would add to Mandella’s record total in the Native Diver. His seventh – and most recent – win came with Olmodavor in 2003.

Baffert, who won the 2012 Native Diver with Game On Dude, will try for a repeat with Drill.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the 4-year-old Lawyer Ron colt out of the Storm Cat mare Cat Dancer has won four of 20 and earned $497,862. He’s lost nine in a row since taking the Grade III Lazaro Barrera Memorial over Cushion Track May 12, 2012.

The last trainer to win the Native Diver in consecutive years was Mandella. He won three times in a row with Gentlemen (1996), Refinado Tom (1997) and Puerto Madero (1998).

Rousing Sermon stretches out for owner-breeders Larry and Marianne Williams and Hollendorfer, who won this race in 2007 with Heatseeker, after winning the On Trust at 7 ½ furlongs against California breds Nov. 24.

Runner-up in the 2011 CashCall Futurity, the 4-year-old Lucky Pulpit colt out of the Awesome Again mare Rousing Again has won five of 23 and earned $687,842.

Hollendorfer will also saddle Blueskiesnrainbows for Bad Boy Racing, LLC and Whizway Farms and Hear the Ghost.

It will be the first start for Blueskiesnrainbows since he finished second behind London Bridge in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon Nov. 1.

Bred in Virginia by Edward Evans, the 4-year-old son of English Channel and the Deputy Minister mare Cho Cho San has won five of 21 and banked $459,552. Two of his wins have come at Betfair Hollywood Park, including the Grade II Swaps in 2012 when he was trained by Baffert.

Hear the Ghost finished second in an optional claimer Nov. 7 in his first start since winning the Grade II San Felipe Stakes eight months earlier.

Owned by Hollendorfer and Halo Farms, the 3-year-old Ghostzapper gelding and the Coronado’s Quest mare Rehear has won twice in four starts and earned $232,800.

Slim Shadey will be making his synthetic surface debut in his 32nd lifetime start.

Trained by Simon Callaghan for owner-breeder Phil Cunningham, the 5-year-old Val Royal gelding out of the Chief’s Crown mare Vino Veritas has won five times and banked $623,064 on turf.

Soi Phet returns to graded company after finishing fourth in the Big Bear Stakes Oct. 31.

A 5-year-old Tizbud gelding out of the Siberian Summer mare Summer Jersey, Soi Phet has five wins in 22 races and earnings of $266,526.

The California bred has picked up most of that bankroll and four of the victories since being claimed for $16,000 May 23 by trainer Leonard Powell for a partnership that includes Gerald Benowitz and Sandra Powell.

Like Drill, Mobilized will be trying to end a nine-race losing streak for Double JH Stable, Inc. and the Estate of breeder Robert Reseigne.

The 7-year-old son of Soul of the Matter and the Red Ransom mare Valleyofthebells hasn’t won since capturing the Tiznow Stakes by 7 ¼ lengths April 28, 2012.

Mobilized, who has six wins in 31 stars and a bankroll of $427,840, could become the oldest winner in Native Diver history. Seven 6-year-olds have won with Saint Stephen the most recent in 2006.

Fire With Fire returns to Southern California for David Heerensperger and Drysdale, who won this race in 1982 with Native Tactics, after finishing third in the Grade III Berkeley Handicap Nov. 29 at Golden Gate.

The 5-year-old gelded son of Distorted Humor and the Capote mare Cosmic Fire has won four of 27 and has a bankroll of $347,644. He has never competed over Cushion Track.

From inside out, the field for the 35th Native Diver Stakes: Blueskiesnrainbows, Martin Pedroza rides, 119 pounds; Fire With Fire, Joe Talamo, 117; Slim Shadey, Edwin Maldonado, 121; Setsuko, Victor Espinoza, 117; Drill, Mike Smith, 117; Soi Phet, Joel Rosario, 117; Mobilized, Gary Stevens, 117; Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano, 117 and Hear the Ghost, Corey Nakatani, 118.






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Older Comments about Setsuko Finally Returns in Native Diver...

i have a weanling filly that is out of Ghost Town KAT(ghostzapper) by Lucky Pulpit. so im thinking a Hear The Ghost/ Rousing Sermon exacta box. lol
Wow! Looks like a very evenly matched field with all the top jocks! Can't wait to watch it.

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