Princess Haya, a recent addition to the Carl O’Callaghan stable, worked on the Hollywood Park turf course Sunday for her California debut in the $100,000 Grade III Wilshire Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile on grass Saturday.
“She’s been here two and one-half weeks,” said O’Callaghan from Barn 53 North before working the five-year-old mare five furlongs in 1:01.40. Princess Haya had been in training with Michael Matz at Palm Meadows in Florida.
“She talked to me after the Dubai World Cup about shipping her here,” said O’Callaghan of owner-breeder Eileen Hartis of Texas. “The weather is so much better here in the summer. The horse was in the East last year, and there was a lot of rain.”
Princess Haya, a daughter of Street Cry, highlighted her career at Woodbine last September with a nose victory over champion Forever Together in the Grade II Canadian Stakes. She has won four of 14 starts and earned $412,901.
“I don’t know if she will be tight enough for the Wilshire, but she should get something out of it and it should set her up for the Gamely,” said O’Callaghan of the $250,000 Grade I stake at 1 1/8 miles on May 29.
Maryland-based veteran Travis Dunkelberger has the Wilshire call. “He’s an old friend of mine, and he broke her maiden (at Laurel in October, 2008),” explained O’Callaghan.
Princess Haya was one of five Wilshire candidates to work on the Hollywood turf. Also working five furlongs were Exquisite in 1:01.80 for the Paddy Gallagher stable; Sweeter Still in 1:01.40 for the Jeff Mullins barn; and Toque de Queda in 1:01.80 for trainer Humberto Ascanio. Cat By The Tale worked six furlongs in 1:15 for trainer Neil Drysdale.
Another Wilshire probable, Czechers, worked four furlongs in a bullet 47.40 for trainer Mark Glatt.
With several jockeys from the colony riding in the Kentucky Derby that day, several Wilshire assignments were pending. Tyler Baze has the call on Cat by the Tale, while Brice Blanc will ride Toque de Queda, Alonso Quinonez will be on Medaglia d’Amour for trainer Ben Cecil and Frank Alvarado will travel south for Czechers.
Other probable starters include the Jim Cassidy-trained duo of April Pride and Dextera, Belmont Cat and You Lift Me Up.
European import Hasty will make her first United States start in the $100,000 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies here next Sunday, trainer Jim Cassidy said. The Grade III is at one mile on turf.
“I’ve had her about three months,” said Cassidy from his Santa Anita headquarters. “I bought her privately. I really like her. She’s a great mover. In Europe, she was keen to go on, but I’m hoping she’ll stay back in the Wilshire.”
Bred in Ireland, won once in six in England last year. In her most recent race, she finished third in a Group III at Newmarket last fall.
Cassidy said he also planned to enter I’mneverwrong, a second Irish-bred filly owned by Forging Oaks Farm. She comes off consecutive front-running victories on the Santa Anita turf. Victor Espinoza will ride one of the fillies, while the other call has not been decided.
Irish-breds will dominate the Senorita lineup as Ben Cecil plans to enter the trio of Andina, Bab At The Bowster and Elusive Galaxy. Andina, to be ridden by Joe Talamo, was second in the Grade II Providencia Stakes on April 3.
City to City, winner of the Providencia and China Doll Stakes in her last two starts, is the likely favorite. Joel Rosario will ride for trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer.
Two other Senorita probables worked here this morning: Harissa, six furlongs on turf in 1:14 for David Hofmans; and Cozi Rosie, six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:13.20 for John Sadler. Mike Smith will ride Cozi Rosie.
Joe Talamo has the call on Glory Pride for trainer Ron McAnally.
Six jockeys based here are expected to ride in the Kentucky Derby, which will be simulcast at Hollywood Park on Saturday. Joe Talamo will ride Sidney’s Candy, David Flores has the call on American Lion, Rafael Bejarano will be aboard Line of David, Martin Garcia will ride Conveyance, Mike Smith will scale Jackson Bend, and Joel Rosario will handle either Homeboykris or Make Music For Me.
Tuscan Evening, named Horse of the Meet at Santa Anita after four consecutive stakes wins, worked four furlongs in 47.60 seconds on turf for the $250,000 Grade I Gamely Stakes on May 29.
“She must have been wondering ’Is this all?’ joked Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, regarding the half-mile drill. The mare progressed from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ miles on grass in her four wins.
After sending out Hollywood Starlet winner Blind Luck in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, Hollendorfer begins a busy stakes stretch here with You Lift Me Up in the Wilshire Handicap Saturday, City to City in the Senorita Stakes next Sunday, Dakota Phone in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap May 8, Rendezvous in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap May 15, and Dance To My Tune in the Milady Handicap May 16.
FINISH LINES —Hollywood Park will offer its only Friday matinee of the meet this week, including the simulcast of the Kentucky Oaks, which will have a strong California flavor with Blind Luck—Rafael Bejarano up—being joined by Santa Anita Oaks winner Crisp, to be ridden by Joel Rosario for John Sadler; and Ashland Stakes winner Evening Jewel, trained by Jim Cassidy…Trainer Marty Jones said Compari, the 7-5 morning line in the Inglewood Handicap today, was scratched because of a foot injury. “He bruised a foot,” said Jones of the injury to Compari’s right front foot….High-flying jockey Joe Talamo flew out to Churchill Downs to work Sidney’s Candy Saturday morning, returned to ride part of the Saturday card here, will fly to Kentucky again Wednesday night and return for the card here next Sunday. “I was all dirty on the flight yesterday,” said Talamo of the quick return. “But I’m good on planes. I sleep the whole way.”…
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