INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 6, 2010)—Skipshot and J P’s Gusto, both stakes winners in their final start at Hollywood Park last month, will aim for repeats at different venues this weekend.
Owned by Olympia Star Inc. and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Skipshot, who upset Sidney’s Candy in the Swaps Stakes on July 17, will face eight other 3-year-olds in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby Saturday at Mountaineer Park.
One day later, J P’s Gusto, who won the Willard L. Proctor Memorial and Hollywood Juvenile Championship in succession during the spring-summer meet, will take on seven other 2-year-olds in the $150,000 Best Pal at Del Mar.
A winner of four of 10 with earnings of $213,030, Skipshot, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, is not the only horse in the West Virginia Derby, which is a Grade II at 1 1/8 miles, with a Southern California connection.
The 8-5 morning line choice is Concord Point. A son of Tapit owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Bob Baffert, Concord Point will be ridden by Martin Garcia. About a month removed from a second place finish in the Lazaro Barrera Memorial on May 22 at Hollywood Park, the gray went to Prairie Meadows and was an authoritative winner of the Iowa Derby, a Grade III. He won by 8 ½ lengths, his third victory in five attempts.
Trained by David Hofmans for owner Gem Inc., J P’s Gusto, a son of Successful Appeal, was a beaten favorite in his debut on May 9, but rebounded with wins in the Proctor and Juvenile Championship.
One of his opponents in the Best Pal, a Grade II at 6 ½ furlongs, is Western Mood.
Trained and co-owned by Jerry Hollendorfer, Western Mood finished a neck behind J P’s Gusto in the Juvenile. Others scheduled to run are Comma To The Top, Wickedly Perfect, Minutesandtouches, Sway Away and River’s Chapel.
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