INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 16, 2011)—Sanagas, a winner of two of four starts in the United States, will make his California debut in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The first Grade I of the Autumn meet, the Turf Cup goes at 1 ½ miles and is the eighth of nine races. Post time Saturday is 12:30 p.m.
Trained by Graham Motion, who won the 2010 Matriarch with Gypsy’s Warning, for owner Andreas Jacobs, Sanagas was 4-for-5 in his native Germany before coming to this country. He’s now 6-for-9 with a bankroll of $132,282.
A 5-year-old gelded son of Lomitas and the Marju mare Scota, Sanagas won the restricted John’s Call Aug. 5 on turf at Saratoga and the Grade III Sycamore on the Keeneland Polytrack Oct. 20.
Hollywood Park will be the fifth different track at which the dark bay has run since joining the Motion stable.
Before the win at Saratoga, Sanagas finished seventh in the Grade III Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park. Prior to the Sycamore, he was fourth in the Grade II Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park.
The last shipper to win the Hollywood Turf Cup was Sunriver for owner-breeders Aaron and Marie Jones and trainer Todd Pletcher in 2007.
Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale will send out a pair – Bourbon Bay and Miss Match – in search of his first Turf Cup victory.
Owned by David and Jill Heerensperger, Bourbon Bay, a 5-year-old gelded son of Sligo Bay and the Conquistador Cielo mare Coral Necklace, has won seven of 22 and earned $729,536.
A multiple graded stakes winner, Bourbon Bay has yet to win over the Hollywood Park turf course. The Kentucky bred has a second and three thirds in five local appearances.
Garrett Gomez will ride Bourbon Bay for the first time. Gomez has won two of the last four Hollywood Turf Cups, going back-to-back with Boboman (2006) and the aforementioned Sunriver.
An Argentine bred daughter of Indygo Shiner and the Southern Halo mare Miss Simpatia, Miss Match is back quickly after finishing last in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. The 6-year-old mare has won six of 25 and banked $621,614, but is winless in three turf starts.
The only female to win the Turf Cup is Miss Alleged, who prevailed for Fares Farm and trainer Charlie Whittingham in 1991. Megahertz was second behind Pellegrino in 2004.
The California bred Norvsky will stretch beyond 1 1/8 miles for the first time Saturday. Owned by Robert Riggio and breeders Bud and Judy Johnston and trained by Don Warren, the 5-year-old Vronsky gelding and the Flying Paster mare Fimbrelith has won five of 16 and earned $392,844.
He’s been 1-2 in his last four, including a neck victory in the California Cup Classic Oct. 29 at Santa Anita. The only state bred with a Turf Cup win is Prince Spellbound, who took the first division in 1982.
Idle since finishing second behind Imponente Purse in the Grade II Sunset Handicap July 17, Falcon Rock has won two of 22 and earned $175,182. Owned by Michael Tabor and trained by Simon Callaghan, Falcon Rock is a 6-year-old gelded son of Hawk Wing and the Caerleon mare Champaka.
The Irish bred has lost 12 in a row since winning an optional claimer by 2 ¼ lengths in his U.S. debut March 6, 2010 at Santa Anita.
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, who won the 1983 Turf Cup with John Henry, will be represented by Goldwaki.
Owned by Richard Duchossois, the 4-year-old Dalakhani colt out of the Caerleon mare Gold Round has won four of 10 with earnings of $176,715. He has yet to defeat a horse in two U.S. outings, finishing last in both the Grade II American Handicap May 28 at Hollywood Park and the Grade I Eddie Read July 22 at Del Mar.
Fourth behind Acclamation in the Grade II Clement L. Hirsch Oct. 2 at Santa Anita, Ashtar is seeking his first victory since winning a Group I in his native Chile Feb. 6.
Trained by Ruben Cardenas for Green Grass Stable, Ashtar has won six of 17 while banking $176,517.
From inside out, the field for the 29th Hollywood Turf Cup: Bourbon Bay, Garrett Gomez rides, 126 pounds; Norvsky, Rafael Bejarano, 126; Falcon Rock, David Flores, 126; Miss Match, Mike Smith, 123; Goldwaki, Brice Blanc, 126; Ashtar, Hector Berrios, 126 and Sanagas, Rajiv Maragh, 126.
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