INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 25, 2009) — New Zealand-bred Black Mamba, beaten a nose by Magical Fantasy last month in the Santa Barbara Handicap, will try to turn the tables in a tough field of 11 fillies and mares in Saturday’s $250,000 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park.
The Grade I Gamely will be run at nine furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course — one furlong less than the Santa Barbara.
Black Mamba, who won the Beverly Hills Handicap and the John C. Mabee Handicap in back-to-back starts last summer, will be making her second start of 2009 in the Gamely. She enters with four wins in 24 starts for earnings of $702,171.
Magical Fantasy, the 2008 Del Mar Oaks winner, has won three of 13 races and $452,431.
Competition runs much deeper, however, in a field which includes 2008 CashCall Mile winner and Gamely runner-up Diamond Diva; 2008 Santa Barbara winner Foxysox; Bel Air Sizzle and Visit, second and third, respectively, in the Santa Ana Handicap in their last start at 1 1/8 miles, and Toque de Queda, beaten less than a length by Magical Fantasy while finishing third in the Santa Barbara.
The field lines up as follows from the rail out:Tuscan Evening, with Rafael Bejarano up, carries 117 pounds; Bel Air Sizzle, Joe Talamo, 119; Toque de Queda, Victor Espinoza, 117; Diamond Diva, David Flores, 123; Modification, Corey Nakatani, 117; Visit, Brice Blanc, 117; Magical Fantasy, Alex Solis, 123; Ainamaa, Aaron Gryder, 117; Foxysox, Tyler Baze, 119; Black Mamba, Joel Rosario, 123, and Lemon Chiffon, Mike Smith, 117.
Great Britain-bred Diamond Diva is on the same path which led to her victory in the 2008 CashCall Mile. Off ten months following that victory, she returned to the races May 2 with a second behind Gorgeous Goose in the one-mile Wilshire Handicap. She enters the Gamely with six wins in 17 starts for earnings of $741,683.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel will be represented by Toque de Queda and Visit. The latter finished fourth while making her U.S. debut in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and was subsequently awarded third money. Yet to win in three 2009 starts, she was beaten a neck while finishing third in the Santa Ana Handicap.
Irish-bred Tuscan Evening broke her maiden in January — her first of three victories in four 2009 starts. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly set the pace before settling for third while making her lone stakes start in the Las Cienagas Handicap.
Modification enters after finishing in a dead heat for third in the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs; Ainamaa won an allowance race after a fourth in the Santa Barbara, and Lemon Chiffon was third in the Distaff Turf Mile in her most recent start at Churchill Downs.
The Gamely will run as the ninth of ten races on Saturday’s card at Holylwood Park. First post time is 1 p.m.
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