INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2009) — Noble Court, beaten favorite a year ago, will try to make amends Sunday as the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes is contested for the 29th time at Hollywood Park.
Since rallying to finish third in the 2009 running, Noble Court has won two of five starts while placing in a pair of Grade I races — a third in the Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park in July and a second in the Pat O’Brien at Del Mar in September. Both times he was beaten by highly-regarded sprinter Zensational.
Noble Court, trained by John Sadler for Joy Ride Racing, will be spotting rivals four to eight pounds as he carries 124 pounds. Seventh most recently in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, he will be back on the main track for the six-furlong Underwood.
The Grade III event drew a tough field of seven, which will line up as follows from the rail out:
Kinsale King, with Martin Garcia up, carries 118 pounds; Machismo, Mike Smith, 116; Delta Storm, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Noble Court, Joel Rosario, 124; Paul’s Hope, Alex Solis, 120; Mr. Cacht, Felipe Valdez, 120, and Talkin to Mom Roo, Joe Talamo, 118.
Delta Storm also made his last start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, finishing fourth. Prior to that the 8-year-old gelding finished third behind Gayego and eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Crown of Thorns in the Ancient Title Handicap. A winner of 11 of 32 starts, he tops the field with earnings of $520,683.
Talkin to Mom Roo won a six-furlong allowance race her in July before finishing second in the Bing Crosby and fourth in the Pat O’Brien. The 6-year-old has two wins and two seconds in four starts at Hollywood Park.
Machismo, also trained by Sadler, has not started since finishing eighth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March. Runner-up in the El Conejo Handicap and Sunshine Millions Sprint early this year at Santa Anita Park, he will be making his Hollywood Park debut.
Consistant ex-claimer Paul’s Hope aims for his seventh win in 33 starts; Mr. Cacht won ten of 18 starts in Argentina, and Kinsale King exits a Santa Anita allowance win with a pair of victories in five starts.
The Underwood will run as the eighth of nine races Sunday at Hollywood Park. First post is at 12:30 p.m.
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