INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 30, 2011)—Smiling Tiger, who led throughout to win the Grade I Triple Bend Handicap July 2 at Hollywood Park, will try to defend his title in the $250,000 Bing Crosby Handicap Sunday at Del Mar.
A Grade I at six furlongs, the Crosby is the eighth of nine races. Post time at Del Mar is 2 p.m. Track gates at Hollywood Park open at 10:30 for simulcasts.
Owned by Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz and trained by Jeff Bonde, Smiling Tiger won the Triple Bend by 3 ¼ lengths. The victory was the eighth in 16 starts for the 4-year-old son of Hold That Tiger and increased his earnings to $1,149,353.
If Smiling Tiger wins Sunday, he will become the third Triple Bend winner in the last four years who followed with a Crosby score. Street Boss completed the double in 2008 as did Zensational in 2009.
The last horse to win the Crosby in consecutive years was Kona Gold (2000-2001).
Amazombie, who finished third as the 3-2 favorite in the Triple Bend, is among the six who will challenge Smiling Tiger. A 5-year-old California bred gelding owned by Tom Sanford and trainer Bill Spawr, Amazombie won the Tiznow Stakes during the Spring/Summer meet.
From inside out, the field for the Bing Crosby Handicap: Smiling Tiger, Joel Rosario rides, 123 pounds; Coffee Boy, Victor Espinoza, 119; Carbonite, Joe Talamo, 119; Euroears, Rafael Bejarano, 121; Amazombie, Mike Smith, 121; Kinsale King, Martin Pedroza, 121 and Color of Courage, Garrett Gomez, 119.
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