Smiling Tiger Seeks Repeat in Triple Bend

In Saturday's Grade 1 Triple Bend at Betfair Hollywood Park, Smiling Tiger will be trying to become only the second repeat winner of the Triple Bend – joining Porterhouse, who won what was then called the Lakes and Flowers Handicap in 1955 and 1956 for Llangollen Farm and trainer Charlie Whittingham.

Trained by Jeff Bonde for owners Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz, the 5-year-old Hold that Tiger horse is 0-for-5 since wiring the field in the 2011 Triple Bend last July 2.

Two of those defeats have come in a pair of Grade II races this year. Smiling Tiger was fifth in the Churchill Downs May 5 in Louisville and third in the True North Handicap June 9 at Belmont Park.

Perfect in three races over Cushion Track, Smiling Tiger is 8-for-20 in his career with a bankroll of $1,267,204.

Undefeated in four races at seven furlongs, The Factor has been idle since finishing sixth in the Group I, $2 million Dubai Gold Shaheen March 31 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.

Owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old War Front colt out of the Miswaki mare Greyciousness has won six of 11 and earned $812,180.

The Triple Bend, which Baffert won in 1996 with Letthebighossroll, will be The Factor’s first start at Betfair Hollywood Park since he finished fourth as the 7-10 choice in his debut Nov. 28, 2010.

A winner in his 2012 debut on the Golden Gate Fields turf June 9, Comma to the Top returns to the scene of his biggest victory for owners Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara and trainer Peter Miller.

The 4-year-old Bwana Charlie gelding out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Maggies Storm won three times over Cushion Track during the 2010 Autumn season, earning him Horse of the Meet honors. He began with a win in the Real Quiet Stakes, followed with a score in the Grade III Generous in his first race on turf, then completed a lucrative six weeks with a 1 ¾ length decision in the Grade I CashCall Futurity.

Bred in Florida by Richard and Linda Thompson, Comma to the Top has won eight of 18 and earned $835,300.

Runner-up in the 2011 Triple Bend, Camp Victory will be seeking his first victory as a 5-year-old for a partnership and trainer Mike Mitchell.

A gelded son of Forest Camp and the Clever Trick mare Victory Trick, Camp Victory is seven for 22 with earnings of $367,986. He’s been third in both of his 2012 outings, including the Grade III Los Angeles Handicap May 28 where he finished 2 ¾ lengths behind winner Roman Threat.

Claimed for $40,000 by his current connections almost 17 months ago, Camp Victory has since won two of nine. One of the wins came via disqualification in the 2011 Los Angeles Handicap.

Mobilized returns to Cushion Track after finishing fifth in the American Handicap. A California bred son of Soul of the Matter and the Red Ransom mare Valleyofthebells, the 6-year-old has six wins in 23 races and a bankroll of $363,080.

Trained by Gary Mandella for Double JH Stables Inc. and the Estate of breeder Robert Reseigne, Mobilized won the Tiznow Stakes for California breds by 7 ¼ lengths in his last start over the Betfair Hollywood Park main April 28.

Away since finishing seventh of 10 in the Grade II Charles Town Classic April 14, Tres Borrachos will be aiming for his fourth win over Cushion Track.

Trained by Marty Jones for owners George Hicker and Button Stable, the 7-year-old Ecton Park gelding has won four of 38 and earned $929,257. His most significant win locally was an 11-1 surprise in the 2008 Swaps Stakes when in the barn of trainer Beau Greely.

Winning the Triple Bend with a 7-year-old wouldn’t be a first for Jones. The trainer upset Surf Cat in 2007 with 9-1 outsider Bilo.

Trainer John Sadler, whose lone Triple Bend victory came with Ceeband in 2001, is scheduled to send out the duo of Italian Rules and Don Tito.

Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber, Italian Rules has won eight of 25 and earned $397,940. Four of those victories have come in six races since the 7-year-old was claimed for $40,000 March 6, 2011. The California bred is a son of Tribal Rule and the Half a Year mare Golden Harmony.

Don Tito, who is owned by the Barbers and Larry Nestadt, has four wins in 16 starts and earnings of $171,943. The 5-year-old Trippi horse out of the Southern Halo mare Another Moochie has been unplaced in his two previous attempts in Grade I races. He was eighth in the 2010 Malibu at Santa Anita and fifth in the 2011 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar.

Second behind Roman Threat in the Los Angeles, Centralinteligence has won three of eight and earned $134,550 for Amerman Racing Stables LLC, Bongo Racing and Gary Finder and trainer Ron Ellis. The 4-year-old Smarty Jones gelding out of the Seattle Slew mare Shootforthestars has a win and two seconds in three races over Cushion Track.

From inside out, the field for the Triple Bend Handicap: Tres Borrachos, Victor Espinoza rides, 116 pounds; Centralinteligence, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 116; Mobilized, Garrett Gomez, 116; Don Tito, Martin Pedroza, 113; Camp Victory, Joe Talamo, 116; The Factor, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Smiling Tiger, Mike Smith, 119; Comma to the Top, Juan Hernandez, 118 and Italian Rules, Kevin Krigger, 114.



comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Smiling Tiger Seeks Repeat in Triple Bend...

He does train there, Tim. This is tougher than I thought it would be. I could find excuses for many horses' losses.
Home court I meant california.. I was a little too vague
I do think his L will be included in the final entries.
The Factor off the layoff here for Baffert, look at what Game on Dude did when he came back from Duabi.
Rd ran with it in the Fleur De Lis, so ? Wonder why The Factor would be w/o the (evil) L.
Is The Factor required to race without the L (Salix) due to not running on it in Dubai? I'd rather not see any horses running on it, but that is to be noted in handicapping this race. At least in the entries today for the Triple Bend, no L next to The Factor.
The Factor has only raced at Hollywood Park once.
Seven furlong start used to be down the chute and then Hollywood built the sales pavillion right in the line of sight. Often you would not have any idea what happened between the break and the first part of the race, EVEN with the cameras on...Gald that is no longer the case.
Smiling tiger is back on his best surface but the Factor will be tough on his home court as well.
Triple Bend was a MONSTER sprinter as I seem to recall he ran a 1:20 for this distance of around there as Rich Cream held the track record
As my favorite current horse, Comma To The Top has been one interesting horse. I hope he can regain form but I don't know, after running in the derby he just lost too much ground.
Comma to the Top is likely to be a good price in this field, and he looked good at Golden Gate on Belmont Stakes day. There's always been something I have liked about this horse.

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories