INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 28, 2012)—Defending champion Gallant Son will try for his third win over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf course in the $68,000 Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap Sunday.
Scheduled for six furlongs, the Kerlan is the seventh of nine races. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
Owned by Randall and Rossi LLC and trained by Frank Lucarelli, Gallant Son defeated Streakin’ Mohican by a head in the 2011 Kerlan. If the 6-year-old wins Sunday, he would become the second double winner of the race. Forest Glow won in 1991 and 1992 for owner John A. Bell III and trainer Brad MacDonald.
A son of Malabar Gold and the Exploit mare Explicitly, Gallant Son has won seven of 29 and earned $398,662. The Kerlan isn’t his only local stakes victory. The dark bay also won the Grade III Inglewood Handicap in 2010.
Comma to the Top, who was also entered in Saturday’s Grade I Triple Bend Handicap, has won two of three on turf for owners Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara and trainer Peter Miller.
The Horse of the Meet during the 2010 Autumn season, the 4-year-old Bwana Charlie gelding out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Maggies Storm has won eight of 18 and banked $835,300. The Florida bred won the Grade III Generous as a 2-year-old in his lone try over the Betfair Hollywood Park grass.
John Johny Jak will make his first start of the year for Kretz Racing LLC and trainer Kristin Mulhall.
Away since finishing fourth in the Grade II Citation Handicap last Nov. 26, the 5-year-old Wildcat Heir ridgling is 8-for-24 with a bankroll of $299,799.
Great Warrior cuts back in distance for trainer A.C. Avila after finishing eighth of nine in the Grade II American Handicap May 28.
Owned by breeder Coudelaria Jessica Inc., the 4-year-old Leroidesanimaux colt out of the Seeking the Gold mare Esther Rose has won three of 15. He’s earned $136,706.
Rauschenberg is a course specialist for owner Gary Broad and trainer Marty Jones. The 5-year-old gelded son of Grand Slam and the A.P. Indy mare Catbaby has won all three of his starts at the Kerlan distance on the Betfair Hollywood Park turf and is 4-for-5 overall.
In search of his third win of the Spring/Summer meet, Rauschenberg is 4-for-19 with earnings of $210,340.
Second to Rauschenberg as the even-money favorite in a $62,000 allowance June 3, Obviously will be seeking his second win in the United States. The 4-year-old geldikng is owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino and trained by Mike Mitchell, who is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday at USC Medical Center for a brain tumor.
By Choisir out of the Montjeu mare Leala, the Irish bred has three wins in seven attempts and earnings of $89,401.
Victory Pete returns to grass after finishing last in an optional claimer over Cushion Track May 27.
Trained by Alexis Barba for owners Ellen and Peter O. Johnson, Sr., the 7-year-old Five Star Day horse out of the Tabasco Cat mare Blabby B. has won three of 28 and earned $348,295.
Victory Pete is in the midst of a 15 race losing streak. The Florida bred’s last victory came in a one mile turf allowance May 9, 2009 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Dancing in Silks has lost 11 in a row since his 25-1 upset in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Owned by Ken Kinakin and trained by Anthony Saavedra, the 7-year-old gelded son of Black Minnaloushe and the Royal and Regal mare Lemhi Love has won seven of 24 and earned $1,500,401. In his most recent start, the California bred trailed in the Grade III Los Angeles Handicap May 28.
From inside out, the field for the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap: Rauschenberg, Garrett Gomez rides, 117 pounds; John Johny Jak, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Great Warrior, Victor Espinoza, 116; Obviously, Joe Talamo, 116; Victory Pete, Martin Garcia, 116; Gallant Son, Mike Smith, 117; Comma to the Top, Kevin Krigger, 123 and Dancing in Silks, Agapito Delgadillo, 114.
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