Several eastern invaders for the Turf Festival, which begins Friday and continues through Sunday, arrived safe and sound at Betfair Hollywood Park Tuesday.
Jose Hernandez, assistant to trainer Chad Brown, said that Dayatthespa and Pianist, both set to run in Sunday’s Grade I, $250,000 Matriarch, shipped “very well” and were “full of life” Wednesday morning. Both 4-year-old fillies are housed with Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer and were scheduled to jog on Cushion Track later in the morning.
Hernandez said that Brown, former assistant trainer to the late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, is expected to be at Betfair Hollywood Park for the Matriarch.
The Christophe Clement trained duo of Summer Front, in for the Grade I, $250,000 Hollywood Derby, and Matriarch contender Discreet Marq went to the track early Wednesday under assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul.
“They went well and both of them are right on target,” said Lorieul. The two are stabled in the barn of Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale.
Admiral Kitten, a fast-closing second in the Grade I Jamaica Handicap Oct. 5 at Belmont Park, arrived “in great shape,” according to Sean Ryan, assistant to trainer Michael Maker. The Hollywood Derby hopeful is stabled with Mike Puype.
“He ate up everything last night and today,” said Ryan, “and he had good energy this morning.”
Adele Bellinger, traveling assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said Jack Milton, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario in the Derby, “jogged once around the track and went great.”
The son of War Front is residing in the Tom Proctor barn.
One day before Sunday’s Matriarch, Betfair Hollywood Park will honor the Grade I race with a commemorative pin giveaway.
The Matriarch has been won by such stars as Flawlessly, a member of racing’s Hall of Fame who won the race three times (1991-93), and 1984 winner Royal Heroine, who has a Grade II stakes named in her honor at Betfair Hollywood Park.
In addition to Sunday’s two Grade I races—The Matriarch and Hollywood Derby—the track will present a Fans’ Choice Giveaway. All remaining items from past promotions will be available – one per paid admission while supplies last.
The middle day of the Turf Festival offers plenty of action for racing fans.
The Miesque Stakes and Generous Stakes, both Grade III, $100,000 Grade III events at one mile on turf, co-headline the card. The Miesque is for 2-year-old fillies, while the Generous is open to all juveniles. First post time Saturday is 12:30 p.m.
At 11 a.m., trainer Julio Canani will be the special guest of co-hosts Michael Burns and George Ortuzar for the Escogiendo Ganadores (Picking Winners) seminar.
The Spanish-language handicapping session will be offered every Saturday throughout the final Autumn meet, which continues through Sunday, Dec. 22.
A winner of nearly 400 races at Betfair Hollywood Park, Canani will discuss his career with Burns and Ortuzar as well as the Betfair Hollywood Park card.
Escogiendo Ganadores will be held at the Paddock Tote Board.
The Hollywood Insider follows at 11:30 a.m. at the same location.
One of the analysts from Television Games Network (TVG) will host Hollywood Insider, which will feature special guests, plus handicapping tips, insights and other last minute information regarding the afternoon’s races.
As usual, the popular Pick Six Saturday offers a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000. Should the total exceed $200,000, $1 beer and $1 hot dogs will be offered for one hour at Whittingham’s Pub and the Betfair Players’ Lounge.
A single winning ticket purchased either on track or through Television Games Network (TVG) receives a bonus of a new Prius, courtesy of Toyota of Orange.
CLOSING STRIDES—Dan Ward, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said that Rousing Sermon, winner of the On Trust Handicap Nov. 24, bounced out of the race well…..Turf Festival stats—The late Bobby Frankel dominates the trainer standings with 17 victories. Richard Mandella follows with six, then Todd Pletcher, Bill Mott and Ron McAnally with five each. Corey Nakatani tops all riders with 14 wins. Next in line are Alex Solis (10), Chris McCarron (9), Garrett Gomez (8) and Eddie Delahoussaye (7). Tied for sixth are John Velasquez and Victor Espinoza with six apiece………The surprise factor no longer exists when jockey Kayla Stra rides for trainer Kory Owens. The team struck again Sunday when Luxuriance ($10.60) won the eighth race. Stra and Owens have now won eight of 25 together with an impressive $4.66 return on investment (for every $2 wagered)…..Through the first nine days of the $2,500-winner-take-all Show Me the Money contest, only one player – who goes by the handle Docgian – has nine consecutive winners. All that is required to stay in the contest each day is a third place or better finish. Going into Thursday, 94 participants remain alive.
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