INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 22, 2013)—A double Grade II winner in 2012, Obviously will seek his first victory of 2013 in the $150,000 American Handicap Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A Grade II for older horses at one mile on turf, the American Handicap is the third of nine races. Post time Saturday is 1 p.m. Gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
This will also be the third of nine Saturdays during the meet offering a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000.
If the Pick Six pool exceeds $200,000 on any of the selected Saturdays – which also include June 1, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13 – there will be $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials offered at Whittingham’s Pub and the Betfair Players’ Lounge.
Additionally, a single winning ticket – purchased either at Betfair Hollywood Park or through Television Games Network (TVG)- will earn a bonus – a 2013 Toyota Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.
Trained by Mike Mitchell for owners Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino, Obviously won the Del Mar Mile Handicap and the Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita in succession last year, then concluded his 4-year-old campaign with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 3.
The Irish bred gelding was defeated by two lengths, finishing behind eventual Horse of the Year Wise Dan and 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
A son of Chosir and the Montjeu mare Leala, Obviously has won six of 13 and earned $578,361. He is seeking his first win at Betfair Hollywood Park. The bay finished third in the 2012 Cool Frenchy over Cushion Track, then was second in a pair of turf sprints – a $62,000 allowance last June 3 and the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap July 1.
Sidelined after the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Obviously returned April 20 at Santa Anita, finishing second behind Chips All In as the 11-10 favorite in the Grade III San Simeon Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will be represented by Chosen Miracle.
Owned by Peter Abruzzo and John Carver, the 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper and the In Excess mare Royally Chosen finished directly behind Obviously in the San Simeon.
Chosen Miracle has won five of 14 and banked $225,794. He is 1-for-1 over the Betfair Hollywood Park grass, winning an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles last Dec. 8.
A Group I winner as a 3-year-old in France, Lucayan will make his United States debut for Pandora Stud and Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale.
Successful at 27-1 in the French 2000 Guineas May 13, 2012 at Longchamp, Lucayan has been away since finishing last in the Group II Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein last Oct. 6.
A French-bred son of Turtle Bowl and the Grand Lodge mare La Vitava, Lucayan has won three of eight and earned $405,275. Drysdale will be aiming his fourth American victory, having already won with Man From Eldorado (1992), Silver Wizard (1995) and Labeeb (1996).
Trainer John Sadler, who won the 2008 American with 29-1 shot Whatsthescript, will send out Barocci Saturday.
Owned by Hronis Racing LLC, the 5-year-old son of Deep Impact and the Giant’s Causeway mare Bastet, won an optional claimer in his Betfair Hollywood Park debut April 28.
The victory was the third in 14 starts for the Japanese bred and pushed his earnings to $213,952.
The lineup is completed by Drill and Racing Aptitude, both trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Drill will be making only his second start on turf in the American. The Lawyer Ron colt finished fourth in the San Simeon, 2 ¼ lengths behind Chips All In.
Out of the Storm Cat mare Cat Dancer, Drill has won four of 15 and earned $455,960. He is 0-for-4 since capturing the Grade III Lazaro Barrera Memorial over Cushion Track May 12, 2012/
Bred by owner Don Dizney, Racing Aptitude will be making his initial start since winning an optional claimer last Aug. 30 at Del Mar.
The 5-year-old Aptitude gelding out of the Saint Ballado mare Ecclesiastes has four wins in 15 starts and a bankroll of $215,970. Three of his wins have come in eight appearances on turf.
From inside out, the field for the American Handicap: Lucayan, Julien Leparoux rides, 118 pounds; Obviously, Joe Talamo, 121; Barocci, Victor Espinoza, 114; Chosen Miracle, Edwin Maldonado, 116; Racing Aptitude, Martin Garcia, 114 and Drill, Rafael Bejarano, 115.
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