INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 8, 2011)—Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will send out a pair in search of his second win in the $80,000 Cat’s Cradle Handicap Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Restricted to California bred fillies and mares, the Cat’s Cradle is run at 7 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track and is the eighth of nine races. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
Baffert, who won the 2001 Cat’s Cradle with Favorite Funtime, will be represented Sunday by Excellent News and Salty Sarah.
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Excellent News is a 4-year-old Rahy filly out of the El Baba mare Mstoyou. She’s won four of 15 and earned $217,194.
Three of her victories have come over Cushion Track, including a 1 ½ length score in the Warren’s Thoroughbred Stakes April 24, 2010.
Salty Sarah returns to the main track after finishing third in the California Cup Distaff on the Santa Anita turf Oct. 29. Owned by Live Your Dreams Racing Stable, the 5-year-old daughter of Bertrando and the Salt Lake mare Bonneville has won four of 26 and earned $212,521.
All but one of Salty Sarah’s wins have come since she was claimed for $12,500 by her current connections Sept. 30, 2010. She has started nine times for Live Your Dreams Racing Stable and Baffert.
The most accomplished member of the field in terms of bankroll is Lady Railrider.
Owned by breeders Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams and trained by Steve Specht, Lady Railrider has banked $587,320 while winning nine of 32.
The 6-year-old Ride the Rails mare out of the Lord Carson mare Lady Evergreen will be trying to end a seven race losing streak. Her last win came March 5 in a Golden Gate Fields allowance at 1 1/16 miles.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who won the 2009 Cat’s Cradle with U R All That I Am, will seek another victory with Going for a Spin.
Owned and bred by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC, the 3-year-old Ministers Wild Cat filly out of the Mr. Greeley mare Gender Motors has won four of 14 and earned $155,552. She is 2-for-6 over Cushion Track.
Another trainer aiming for a second win in the Cat’s Cradle is Doug O’Neill. The trainer, who won with Cee’s Elegance in 2002, will saddle California Nectar.
Owned by breeder Suarez Racing Inc., the 3-year-old Stormy Atlantic filly out of the Carson City mare Absolute Nectar has won five of 13 and earned $314,400.
Tiz Flirtatious, undefeated in two starts, will make her first afternoon appearance at the track where she trains for owner-breeder Pamela Ziebarth and trainer Marty Jones. The 3-year-old daughter of Tizbud and the Victory Gallop mare Masquerade Belle earned $63,000 for her victories over conventional dirt Oct. 2 and Oct. 29 at Santa Anita.
A three-time winner at Hollywood Park, Downhill Diva returns after a layoff of more than two months for co-owner and trainer Patricia Harrington. Away since finishing sixth of seven in the Las Madrinas Handicap Sept. 24 at Fairplex Park, the 4-year-old daughter of Swiss Yodeler and the Snow Chief mare Snow Report is 5-for-18 and has a bankroll of $217,579. Harrington owns the bay in a partnership that includes Fast Lane Farms and James Honore.
Chokecherymary, who earned her maiden win at Hollywood Park May 14, shortens up a bit after finishing third in an optional claimer at one mile Oct. 27 at Santa Anita. The 3-year-old Capsized filly out of the Gilded Time mare Sassy Rhythm has won two of seven and earned $97,478 for owners Steve and Sue Wasko and trainer Gary Mandella.
Ruffled Feathers will be looking for her first win over a synthetic surface as she makes her second start since being claimed for $40,000 Sept. 7 at Del Mar by trainer Tom Blincoe for owner Richard Bell.
A 5-year-old daughter of Include and the Awesome Again mare Diane Again, Ruffled Feathers is 4-for-23 lifetime. Her bankroll is $238,034.
From inside out, the field for the 15th Cat’s Cradle Handicap: Ruffled Feathers, David Flores rides, 114 pounds; Downhill Diva, Brice Blanc, 119; Tiz Flirtatious, Joel Rosario, 114; Chokecherymary, Garrett Gomez, 114; Going for a Spin, Victor Espinoza, 116; Lady Railrider, Joe Talamo, 120; Excellent News, Martin Garcia, 119; Salty Sarah, Rafael Bejarano, 118 and California Nectar, Martin Pedroza, 118.
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