INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 20, 2013)—Summer Exclusive will shorten up, switch to turf and drop in class in the $70,000-added Harry Henson Stakes when Betfair Hollywood Park begins its 75th anniversary season Thursday.
A six furlong event for 3-year-olds, the Henson, which honors the legendary track announcer who worked at Hollywood Park from 1959-1982, is the seventh of eight races. Post time is 1 p.m.
Owned by a partnership that includes Chandler, Fink, Gencarella, Trzos, Topol and Altamira Racing Stable and trained by Peter Miller, Summer Exclusive was seventh of eight in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby April 6 after breaking into the game with a one-length victory against 11 opponents March 2 at Santa Anita.
An Exclusive Quality colt out of the Wild Rush mare Summer Dream, Summer Exclusive has earned $33,850. Miller is seeking his second Henson victory after winning with Backbackbackgone in 2009.
Colburn will be trying to stay perfect on grass for Macho Uno Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill.
After four defeats over the Santa Anita main track, Colburn switched surfaces March 30 and responded with a 1 ½ length victory at about 6 ½ furlongs over the Arcadia track’s hillside layout.
The Heatseeker colt out of the Mutakddim mare Go Ask Daisy has banked $42,380.
O’Neill will also be represented by Meringue Pie, a Sakhee’s Secret colt out of the Royal Applause mare Queen’s Pudding. Owned by Argentum Racing Stable, Joel Meredith and Eric Sword, Meringue Pie has one win in eight starts and earnings of $20,994.
The English-bred is 0-for-4 in the United States. His lone victory came against maidens at the Henson distance last July 26 at Epsom in his native country.
A $16,000 claim by trainer Art Sherman for owners Robert Bach, GP Stables LP and William Tesser Feb. 7 at Santa Anita, Sacred Ovation was defeated by a nose in his turf debut April 4.
Bred in Florida by Irv and France Weiner, Sacred Ovation is a gelded son of Congrats and the Unbridled’s Song mare Unbridled’s Jane. He’s won two of six and earned $58,960.
Trainer Jeff Bonde, who won the 2010 Henson with Excessive Passion, will send out My Jealous.
Idle since finishing fifth in the Everett Nevin Alameda County Stakes last July 8 at Pleasanton, My Jealous is a gelded son of Halo’s Image and the Helmsman mare Windjammin Lady.
Owned by Bonde, Barry Arnason, Victor Flores and Mersad Metanovic, My Jealous is 1-for-2. He broke his maiden by 4 ¼ lengths in his debut at Pleasanton last June 24.
No Contingency was fifth in the same optional claimer in which Sacred Ovation was second earlier this month in his initial appearance for Pinner Family Trust and trainer Danny Velasquez.
A Put It Back gelding out of the Wild Event mare Dixieland Event, No Contingency has one win in three outings and a bankroll of $29,120.
From inside out, the field for the 61st Harry Henson Stakes: Colburn, Tyler Baze rides, 117 pounds; Sacred Ovation, Joe Steiner, 117; Meringue Pie, Mario Gutierrez, 117; No Contingency, Joe Talamo, 117; Summer Exclusive, Garrett Gomez, 117 and My Jealous, Edwin Maldonado, 117.
The opening day program also includes the first 2-year-old race of 2013 in Southern California. The 4 ½ furlong contest, which offers a $52,000 purse, attracted seven California bred or sired fillies. It goes as the second race.
During the 49-day Spring/Summer meet, which concludes Sunday, July 14, post time is 1 p.m. daily with three exceptions – 11 a.m. on the Triple Crown days (May 4, May 18 and June 8).
There is only one deviation from the usual Thursday-Sunday schedule. Betfair Hollywood Park will race Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day).
Regular prices are $10 for general admission and $20 for Turf Club. Seniors 55 and older will receive a $5 discount – with Gold Club card – Thursdays. All prices include parking and an official program.
The popular Players’ Pick 5 also returns. A 50 cent minimum bet, the wager covers the first five races daily and continues to feature a reduced takeout rate of 14%.
There is also a carryover provision should no one be able to isolate all five winners with 100% of the net pool carrying over to the next racing day.
Highlighting a stakes schedule worth more than $6.8 million are the $350,000 American Oaks and the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.
The 12th running of the American Oaks will be Saturday, July 13 along with the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap, the $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the $150,000 Landaluce.
When the Gold Cup is run for the 74th time Saturday, July 6, the program will also include the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile.
The $300,000 Shoemaker Mile and the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap, both to be run Saturday, June 29, as well as the aforementioned A Gleam, are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ races. The Breeders’ Cup nominated winner of those races earns an automatic berth in the corresponding BC event. The 30th Breeders’ Cup will be run Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita.
There are 47 stakes on the calendar, including six Grade I races, nine Grade II events and seven Grade III’s. There are 10 days with multiple stakes races, beginning with the $1.1 million California Gold Rush Saturday.
The first Grade I of the meet is the $250,000 Gamely Stakes. The 1 1/8 mile turf race for older fillies and mares will be run Monday, May 27.
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