INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 30, 2011)—Tres Borrachos returns to his favorite venue when he seeks second win of 2011 in the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap Saturday at Hollywood Park.
A Grade III at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track, the Native Diver is the eighth of nine races. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
Trained by Marty Jones for George Hicker and Button Stable, Tres Borrachos, who ended a 13 race losing when taking the Grade II San Diego Handicap July 30 at Del Mar, has earned three of his four lifetime victories at Hollywood Park.
The biggest of those wins came when he defeated Two Step Salsa and Colonel John in the Grade II Swaps Stakes July 12, 2008. In 34 career races, the 6-year-old Ecton Park gelding out of the Peteski mare Pete’s Fancy has earned $864,257.
Five of those starts have come since he was purchased privately by his current connections and moved to the Jones stable. In his most recent appearance, Tres Borrachos was third at 30-1 in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. He finished 5 ¾ lengths behind winner Caleb’s Posse.
Eldaafer, the winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, will make his California debut and first start for trainer Brian Koriner in the Native Diver.
Owned by E-Racing.com and Kevin Jacobsen, the 6-year-old gelded son of A.P. Indy and the Habibti mare Tabasco Cat has won 11 of 32 and banked $753,132. He finished sixth Nov. 5 when attempting to repeat in the BC Marathon.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who finished second with 13-1 outsider Imagining in the Grade I Hollywood Derby Nov. 27, will be represented by Rescue Squad Saturday.
Owned by breeders Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable, the 5-year-old Dynaformer horse out of the Seeking the Gold mare Search Party has won three of 16 and earned $197,252.
Rescue Squad is 2-for-2 on synthetic. Both wins have come over Keeneland’s Polytrack, including a one-length score as the 2-1 favorite in a $53,975 allowance Oct. 21.
Kettle Corn will step into graded company for the first time in his career as he seeks his second win of the Autumn meet. Owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable and trained by John Sadler, the 4-year-old Candy Ride colt out of the Lil E. Tee mare Somethingbeautiful won an optional claimer Nov. 17.
The Kentucky bred is 2-for-4 since being purchased privately by Sadler for the Searings. His first California win came in an optional claimer Sept. 3 at Del Mar. Overall, Kettle Corn has won five of 11 and earned $111,891.
Tweebster will try to provide Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second Native Diver win over a surface on which the ridgling has picked up two of his three victories.
Owned by Kaleem Shah, the son of Tapit and the Open Forum mare H.R.H. Doodle is 3-for-14 with a bankroll of $204,290. He was a distant second behind stablemate Racing Aptitude in the restricted Yo Eleven Stakes Nov. 11, a race that followed a layoff of more than eight months.
Baffert, the leading trainer at the Autumn meet with 11 victories through 12 days, won the 1999 Native Diver with General Challenge.
Away since Aug. 25, Massone will be trying to end an extended losing streak.
A 5-year-old Menifee horse out of the Damascus mare Stoneleigh’s Hope owned by Frankfurt Stable and trained by Tim Yakteen, Massone has lost 13 in a row. His last victory came in an optional claimer over the Del Mar Polytrack Aug. 16, 2009. Massone has two lifetime wins in 27 starts and earnings of $507,342.
Formerly trained by Ron McAnally and Steve Specht, Massone will be making his first start at Hollywood Park since he finished fourth in the 2009 Swaps won by the Baffert-trained Misremembered.
Summer Movie ended a nine race losing streak when taking an optional claimer by a neck Oct. 20 at Santa Anita.
Owned by George Krikorian, who won the Grade I Matriarch with homebred Star Billing Nov. 25, and trained by Art Sherman, the 4-year-old gray son of Holy Bull and the Summer Squall mare Crazy Summer Fling has won three of 14 and banked $132,860.
From inside out, the field for the 33rd Native Diver Handicap: Kettle Corn, Garrett Gomez rides, 114 pounds; Eldaafer, Joe Talamo, 118; Tweebster, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Rescue Squad, Mike Smith, 115; Summer Movie, Agapito Delgadillo, 114; Tres Borrachos, Joel Rosario, 119 and Massone, Martin Garcia, 114.
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