Tres Borrachos, a delight of longshot players, is poised to spring another surprise in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Saturday.
“He’s got ability, he’s been training well, there’s nothing wrong with him and he’s got a good record at Hollywood Park,” said trainer and co-owner Beau Greely Sunday of the 5-year-old gelding.
Tres Borrachos, which means “three drunks” in Spanish, has run like one on several occasions and run like a top stakes horse on others.
The Kentucky-bred son of Ecton Park has earned more than $600,000 but never been favored in 26 career starts. He has recorded three firsts and two seconds, all of them in 10 starts at Hollywood Park, where he is stabled.
Last year he ran one of his best races in the Grade I Gold Cup, setting most of the pace at 23-1 before finishing second behind Rail Trip in the 1 ¼-mile race on Cushion Track.
Tres Borrachos broke his maiden here in his third start as a 2-year-old in November, 2007, at 7-1. He went winless in his next six starts before rebounding at 11-1 to win the Grade II Swaps Stakes here in July, 2008. He was far back in his next six starts before waking up to win an allowance/optional claimer over Cushion Track when 23-1 in May of last year, a race that served as a prep for the Gold Cup.
Tres Borrachos has lost his last eight starts following the encouraging Gold Cup showing. He faded to fourth in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap and to seventh in The Californian in his last two outings to insure his longshot status.
Greely remains optimistic. “He’s run bad ones like that before, but he’s had a history of being a surprising kind of horse,” said Greely. “He worked a good five furlongs Thursday, he’s fit, and he should get a break in the weights.”
Tres Borrachos is expected to be joined by at least six other starters: defending champion Rail Trip (Rafael Bejarano), Pacific Classic winner Richard’s Kid (Martin Garcia), Arcadia Handicap winner Compari (Mike Smith), Hawthorne Gold Cup winner Awesome Gem (David Flores), Tokyo City Handicap winner Tap It Light (Tyler Baze) and Mervyn LeRoy third-place finisher Cigar Man (Joe Talamo). Brushburn and Victory Pete are considered possible.
Trainer Bob Baffert, a two-time Gold Cup winner, confirmed from Santa Anita that Richard’s Kid would make his first start since finishing seventh in the Dubai World Cup on March 27.
“I think it’s a good spot for him to start back,” said Baffert. “He needs to be going long and it should set him up good for Del Mar. I think Rail Trip will be awful tough to beat.”
Trainer Marty Jones scratched Compari from the American Handicap today to run in the Gold Cup. “We had been wanting to try him back on the main track,” explained Jones. “He’s won here, and it’s a big race. We’re going to take a shot.” Compari worked five furlongs in 1:02.
Rail Trip galloped on the main track under the scrutiny of co-owner Samantha Siegel and trainer Ron Ellis. The 5-year-old gelding, winner of the Mervyn LeRoy and Californian in his last two starts, seeks to become the first horse to sweep the three races since Eleven Stitches in 1981.
Cigar Man worked five furlongs in 59.80 for trainer Vladimir Cerin.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who won his first Triple Bend Handicap last year with 3-year-old sensation Zensational, plans to send out two 5-year-olds in the $250,000 Grade I test at seven furlongs Saturday.
Baffert said Sunday from Santa Anita that he will saddle E Z’s Gentleman and Sangaree in the race with jockeys Martin Garcia and Martin Pedroza.
E Z’s Gentleman, owned by Arnold Zetcher, finished second in the six-furlong Los Angeles Handicap in his last start here June 5. Sangaree, owned by Darley Stable, will return to sprinting after finishing second to Rail Trip in both the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap and Californian.
The Baffert duo will be sternly tested in a lineup expected to include Malibu Stakes winner M One Rifle, New York invader Gayego (Rafael Bejarano), On Trust Handicap winner Bestdressed and recent allowance/optional claimer winner New Bay (Tyler Baze). Robert Kerlan Handicap winner My Summer Slew and Fantasy Free are considered possible.
Rick Mettee, United States assistant for Godolphin Racing, said from New York that Gayego was scheduled to be flown to California Tuesday. “He worked good yesterday at Belmont, five-eighths in 59 and three,” said Mettee. “He will come out with his exercise rider, Steve Childs.”
Gayego, who began his career at Hollywood Park, will make his first start since finishing eighth in the Golden Shaheen Stakes in Dubai on March 27. The 5-year-old horse won the Grade I Ancient Title Stakes at Santa Anita last fall before finishing fourth in a four-way photo in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Belleofthebridle, who finished second against colts in her second start in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes May 31, will return to female competition in the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs on July 11.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Yes It’s True worked five furlongs in 1:01 Sunday for trainer Walther Solis. David Flores has the Landaluce call.
Other probable starters include Cinderella Stakes winner She’ll Heir (Rafael Bejarano), Cinderella runner-up Swiss Wild Cat (Christian Santiago Reyes) and impressive maiden winner Given Episode (Tyler Baze).
Dawnie Macho, a recent addition to the John Sadler barn after breaking the track record for 4 ½ furlongs in her debut at Arlington Park, will have her Landaluce status clarified following a Monday work, according to Sadler.
FINISH LINES—Santa Anita Derby winner Sidney’s Candy worked seven furlongs in 1:25.80 under jockey Joe Talamo Sunday. “One more work before the Swaps,” said trainer John Sadler of the $200,000 Swaps Stakes July 17. Skipshot, another Swaps candidate, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 for the Jerry Hollendorfer stable…Sadler added that Cozi Rosie, scratched as the morning-line favorite in the $250,000 American Oaks Saturday, would undergo a nuclear scan of her left foreleg Tuesday at Santa Anita…Trainer Neil Drysdale said that he scratched Riviera Cocktail from the American Handicap “because he was a little dull today.”…*Joel Rosario’s* four winners Saturday moved the defending meet riding champion into a tie for first with 2008 leader Rafael Bejarano. Tyler Baze, 2004 leader, is a close third with 57…Veteran jockey Martin Pedroza enters the day with 998 career wins at Hollywood Park and is poised to become the 10th member of the track’s 1,000-win club…Trainer Carl O’Callaghan is scheduled to fly to England Tuesday to put the final touches on international sprint star Kinsale King in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket Friday…Trainer Paco Gonzalez and broodmare Snowberg combined talents Saturday for Royal Heroine Stakes runner-up Burg Berg and longshot allowance/optional claimer winner Face And An Ace.
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