Trainer John Sadler, who has won enough graded 3-year-old stakes this year to make even Todd Pletcher take notice, seeks another in the $100,000 Grade III Railbird for fillies at seven furlongs on Cushion Track Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Sadler entered Stockings and Switch, who both scored maiden victories here, Thursday morning in the sprint he won with the brilliant Melair in 1986 and Sportfull Snob in 1994.
Both Kentucky-bred fillies were purchased at the Keeneland 2008 September yearling sale. Switch, a daughter of Quiet American, finished third in the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes, one-half length behind Kentucky Oaks winner Blind Luck and Evening Jewel, before finishing fourth in the Grade II Bonnie Miss Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 20.
“She didn’t get the trip I wanted in the Bonnie Miss,” said Sadler. “I brought her back and freshened her. She’s very gifted and seven furlongs is a good distance for her.”
Stockings, a chestnut by Hennessy, comes off a six-furlong allowance/optional claiming win at Santa Anita on March 10. “She has never been worse than third in four starts on synthetics and was impressive winning her last start,” said Sadler. “Seven-eighths is a good distance for her too.”
Sadler has already won 3-year-old stakes with Sidney’s Candy in the Santa Anita Derby, Line of David in the Arkansas Derby, Hurricane Ike in the Derby Trial and Crisp in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Sadler said that Sidney’s Candy and Line of David have returned home after not relishing the mud in the Kentucky Derby on May 1. Sadler said he hasn’t formulated plans for the pair. However, Hurricane Ike will run in the Preakness Stakes on May 15 at Pimlico. Robby Albarado will ride.
Sadler said that Crisp, who was unplaced in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30, is also back in California. She will be pointed to the $150,000 Grade II Hollywood Oaks on June 6.
Sadler added that Mona de Momma, winner of the Grade I Humana Distaff on the Derby undercard, will probably make her next start in the $150,000 Grade II A Gleam Handicap on July 17 at Hollywood Park.
Third Dawn will seek her first graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Grade II Milady Handicap here May 16,.
Scintillo, a Group II winner in France, will make his United States debut in the $150,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap here May 15, trainer Neil Drysdale said Thursday.
Scintillo, a 5-year-old horse owned by Leonard Lucas, won five of 27 starts in Europe and earned $515,185. He captured the Group II Grand Prix de Chantilly last May at the Jim Murray distance of 1 ½ miles and finished 11th in the Japan Cup in his last start in November.
“I picked him up after the Japan Cup,” said Drysdale. Rafael Bejarano has the call on the English-bred chestnut by Fantastic Light.
Drysdale also nominated History Boy and Ridge Dance to the Grade II test named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
Rendezvous, another probable starter for the Jim Murray, worked a bullet six furlongs on turf Thursday in 1:13.40 under exercise rider Marco Ramirez for the Jerry Hollendorfer stable.
The 4-year-old chestnut colt seeks his first victory in seven starts since winning the Grade II Del Mar Derby last September. He was a fast-closing second in his last start in the Tokyo City Handicap on Pro-Ride at Santa Anita on March 27.
Other nominees are Acclamation, Alphie’s Bet, Dynamic Range, El Indy, Falcon Rock, Quindici Man, Romp, Skellytown, Stalingrad and Unusual Suspect.
The $150,000 Milady Handicap, a Grade II stake won the last two years by unbeaten champion Zenyatta, will be won by someone else May 16 when the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares is run for the 59th time.
Eleven other distaffers were nominated as trainer John Shirreffs passed as expected with Zenyatta, who won her 16th straight start on April 9 at Oaklawn Park in the Apple Blossom Handicap. Shirreffs said the 6-year-old mare could make her next start here on June 13 seeking an unprecedented third straight victory in the Grade I Vanity Handicap.
Santa Lucia Handicap winner Devine Actress, Santa Margarita Handicap runner-up Dance to My Tune and 2008 Hollywood Starlet runner-up Wynning Ride head the list of females seeking to succeed Zenyatta. Also nominated are Divine Legacy, Joffe’s Run, Made for Magic, Miss Silver Brook, Princess Haya, Third Dawn, Value Stream and Will O Way.
Trainer Ron Ellis said Thursday that post six in a field of seven should work out well for Rail Trip in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap, a Grade II test at 1 1/16 miles Saturday.
“We drew outside the other speed: perfect,” said Ellis with a smile of the 121-pound highweight making his first start since September under Rafael Bejarano.
Rail Trip, a 5-year-old gelding, won the Hollywood Gold Cup last year after finishing second in both the Mervyn LeRoy and The Californian.
FINISH LINES — Jockey Martin Pedroza earned his 980th victory at Hollywood Park Wednesday when he took the first race aboard favored Spark City. Laffit Pincay, Jr. leads all riders with 3,049 at Hollywood Park and eight others have won more than 1,000 races here: Bill Shoemaker, Chris McCarron, Alex Solis, Eddie Delahoussaye, Patrick Valenzuela, Gary Stevens, Corey Nakatani and Johnny Longden. The Panamanian-born Pedroza, 42, has 3,180 career wins.…Trainer Mike Puype was happy to see trainer Greg Gilchrist retire with career win No. 1,529 after Island Of Zen scored in the fifth race Wednesday. “He left me a couple of young horses—an unraced Maria’s Mon 3-year-old and a baby he just bought at the last Ocala sale—and a vote of confidence from him means a lot to me,” said Puype. He’s got a gifted eye for purchasing horses if he decides to go into bloodstock work.”…Jockey Paul Atkinson will ride in his first Triple Crown race aboard Caracortado in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 15, five days before he turns 41…Jockey Tyler Baze will ride Harissa for trainer David Hofmans in the $150,000 Black-Eyed Susan Breeders’ Cup Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on May 14 at Pimlico…Blind Luck is scheduled to work a half mile here Saturday, her first drill since her nose win in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30.Friday…WinStar Farms co-owner Bill Casner, who won the Kentucky Derby Saturday with Super Saver, will be here this afternoon to watch highly regarded Kayce Ace make her second start in the sixth race for 3-year-old maiden fillies.
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