INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 30, 2013)—Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will seek a record fourth win in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap when he sends out Den’s Legacy and Manando Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A Grade III for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track, the Affirmed is the eighth of nine races. Post time Sunday is 1 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
Baffert and the recently-retired Jay Robbins currently share the record for most Affirmed wins. Baffert’s victories came with General Challenge (1999), Point Determined (2006) and Coil (2011) while Robbins won with Raise A Stanza (1989), Tiznow (2000) and Indian Ocean (2005).
Owned by Westrock Stables LLC, Den’s Legacy has been idle since finishing sixth of 10 in the Grade I Arkansas Derby April 13 at Oaklawn Park.
A son of Medaglia d’Oro out of the War Chant mare Sunshine Song, Den’s Legacy has won two of 12 and earned $385,350. In his most recent appearance over Cushion Track, the Florida-bred finished third behind Violence and Fury Kapcori in the Grade I CashCall Futurity last Dec. 15.
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., Manando was an authoritative 7 ¼ length victory in an optional claimer – at the Affirmed distance – May 3.
The win was the second – both over Cushion Track – in eight starts for the son of Bluegrass Cat and the Unbridled’s Song mare Mesmerizing Lady, pushing his earnings to $102,440.
Upset winner of the Grade III El Camino Real Derby Feb. 16 at Golden Gate Fields, Dice Flavor will be making his first start since an off-the-board finish in the Group II UAE Derby March 30 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher for Oda Racing Stablae and US Equine, the Scat Daddy colt out of the Afleet mare Afleet Summer has won two of six and earned $160,500. Dice Flavor finished eight at Meydan, 13 lengths behind winner Lines of Battle.
The chestnut has yet to start over Cushion Track. He broke his maiden over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf course last Dec. 16.
Tiz a Minister will try to make amends against open company after finishing third as the 11-10 favorite against California breds in the Snow Chief Stakes April 27.
The late-running Ministers Wild Cat colt finished 4 ½ lengths behind winner Surfcup in the Snow Chief, the richest event of the California Gold Rush program.
Owned by S.A.Y. Racing, LLC and trained by Paul Aguirre, Tiz a Minister has won two of 12. Out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tiz a Minstress, he’s earned $360,780.
Claimed for $40,000 by his current connections out of a maiden race last Aug. 2 at Del Mar, Tiz a Minister earned his biggest win in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes Jan. 26 at Santa Anita and was also third in the Grade II San Felipe March 9.
Broadway Empire will stretch out after finishing a distant second behind Let Em Shine in the Came Home Stakes May 11.
Trained by Robertino Diodoro for Bob Butz, Randy Howg and Rick Running Rabbit, the Empire Maker gelding out of the Belong to Me mare Broadway Hoofer is 1-for-2 with a bankroll of $21,054. He won first time out by 16 ½ lengths against maidens March 18 at Turf Paradise.
Counting Days returns to a synthetic surface after finishing third in the grassy La Puente Stakes April 21 at Santa Anita.
Trained by Carla Gaines for Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc., the Mingun gelding out of the Exbourne mare Cuanto Es has one win in eight outings and earnings of $59,646. His sole victory came by 10 ¼ lengths against $50,000 maidens last Oct. 20 over the Polytrack at Keeneland.
Just Win Baby was last seen finishing fourth – beaten by a dozen lengths – in the race dominated by Manando.
Owned by breeder Greg Norman and trained by Oscar Garcia, Just Win Baby, a ridgling by The Daddy and out of the Event of the Year mare The Shulamite, has one win in four races and a bankroll of $37,090.
Eighth of nine behind Manando nearly one month ago, Dirty Swagg will step into graded company once more for owner, breeder and trainer Myung Kwon Cho.
The gelded son of Street Hero and the Tabasco Cat mare Diversa has one win in 10 starts and earnings of $56,900.
Dirty Swagg has yet to finish better than fifth in five previous appearances in graded stakes. Most recently, he trailed in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby April 6.
From inside out, the field for the Affirmed Handicap: Broadway Empire, Victor Espinoza rides, 114 pounds; Counting Days, Rafael Bejarano, 115; Just Win Baby, Joe Talamo, 113; Dirty Swagg, David Flores, 113; Den’s Legacy, Garrett Gomez, 120; Tiz a Minister, Corey Nakatani, 117; Dice Flavor, Mike Smith, 119 and Manando, Martin Garcia, 117.
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