Sahara Sky returned to his regular stall at Betfair Hollywood Park Wednesday after a triumphant victory in Monday’s Grade I Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.
“He was happy to be home,” remarked Dan Ward, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “We put him in an outside pen when he got back and he was rolling around and having a ball.”
Ward said the last time he got that excited was when Dakota Phone won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
“It was the same rider (Joel Rosario), the same distance and a big race,’’ he said.
Ward added that Sahara Sky has shown he’s best around one turn and will be pointed for the $2 million Breeders Cup Sprint (Nov. 2 at Santa Anita).
Meanwhile, Marketing Mix and Tiz Flirtatious, who finished a head apart in Monday’s Grade I Gamely, both came back in good shape but may be headed in different directions.
“She came back tired, but that was to be expected with the effort she put out,” said Marty Jones of second place finisher Tiz Flirtatious. “If everything looks good, her tentative schedule will be the John Mabee at Del Mar, Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita and then the Breeders’ Cup (Filly and Mare Turf).”
Aimee Dollase, who is supervising Tom Proctor’s stable while the trainer is in Chicago, said Marketing Mix returned well and is also pointing for the Breeders’ Cup, but probably will take a different route by running next in either New York or Arlington Park.
In other related news, Peter Miller said Los Angeles Handicap winner Comma To the Top came back “super” and will run next in the Grade I, $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap June 29.
Schiaparelli, impressive winner of Sunday’s Great Lady M. Stakes, is doing well and on course for the Grade II, $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile July 6, according to trainer Mike Puype.
Betfair Hollywood Park’s Director of Publicity Bob Mieszerski received an early Father’s Day gift with the news that he became a grandfather for the first time.
Mieszerski’s daughter, Stephanie, and her husband Chet welcomed Bennett Robert Hower into the world May 21.
The healthy baby weighed in at a robust 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Mother, father and grandfather are all doing well.
Executiveprivilege, on the comeback trail after finishing fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet last Dec. 8, worked a half mile in 49 seconds at Betfair Hollywood Park Wednesday for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.
It was the First Samurai filly’s fourth work in the sequence since returning to training. Executiveprivilege, winner of the Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier Stakes—both Grade I’s— has earned $940,000 while capturing five of seven starts.
Other notable workers included Railbird Stakes winner Iotapa, who went a half-mile in 48 seconds for trainer John Sadler; Grade I winner Jimmy Creed, (four furlongs in :49); Time To Leave Stakes winner Teddy’s Promise (four furlongs in :48 2/5); Include Me Out, winner of the Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap during the 2012 Spring/Summer meeting (six furlongs in 1:13 2/5); and Kinsale King, winner of the 2009 Grade III Vernon O. Underwood (five furlongs in :59).
h4.TWO CALIFORNIANS REMAIN IN SHOW ME THE MONEY
A pair of Californians are the only two players alive in the $2,500 winner-take-all Show Me The Money contest at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The free challenge, which began May 5 with 1,744 players, requires a participant to choose one horse each racing day – in six designated races – at least 10 minutes prior to the first race. The selected horse must finish first, second or third for a player to continue.
The last player standing receives the cash prize. Should more than one contestant still be alive at the conclusion of racing July 14 – closing day of the Spring/Summer meet – the winner will be decided by a tiebreaker. The first tiebreaker is number of wins.
The Monday selection for both Pamela Erickson of Oakland and Larry Mineau of Whittier was Super Ability, who finished second as the favorite in the eighth race.
Jim O’Toole of Park Ridge, Illinois was eliminated Monday when Tamarack Smarty, the 5-2 favorite in the seventh race, finished fifth.
Jockey Edwin Maldonado will be the guest of co-hosts Michael Burns and George Ortuzar at the upcoming Escogiendo Ganadores (Picking Winners) session Saturday, June 1.
During the Spanish-language seminar, Maldonado, the leading rider at the 2012 Autumn meet, Burns and Ortuzar will discuss the jockey’s career as well as the Betfair Hollywood Park card, including the $150,000 Californian, a Grade II for older horses at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track.
Escogiendo Ganadores will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Paddock Tote Board.
A half-hour later at the same location, Rich Perloff of Television Games Network (TVG) will play host for the next Hollywood Insider.
Handicapping tips, insights and other last minute information will be offered on the afternoon’s races.
CLOSING STRIDES—Victor Espinoza won Monday’s eighth race aboard Pennsylvania-bred Doyouseemecoming for his 2,999th career victory. Espinoza has two opportunities Thursday to reach the milestone. Earlier in the Spring/Summer meeting, Rafael Bejarano joined the 3,000 win club when he won aboard Ondine for Bob Baffert ………..The improved IGoRacing app is now available on iPhone and Android platforms. In addition to live streaming of all Betfair Hollywood Park races, the application now has race replays, race results and rider-trainer standings……. Leonard Lavin, owner-breeder of Gamely winner Marketing Mix, is still engaged in the business at the age of 95. Trainer Tom Proctor posted on his Twitter page a photo of Lavin celebrating Monday’s victory with family and friends in Chicago. Gary Stevens, who rode Marketing Mix, was at Proctor’s barn Thursday morning still marveling at the thrilling finish of the Gamely……Tomorrow is another Fiesta Friday at Betfair Hollywood Park, featuring happy hour drink specials and a chance to win a $100 mutuel voucher.
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