INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Triumphant Flight, who has won three of five starts while not finishing worse than second, heads a field of 11 in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes on Saturday as the tenth annual California Gold Rush will be held at Hollywood Park.
The card for California-breds offers ten races with purses of $1.3 million. The program has a special early post time of 12:30 p.m. and also features a $500,000 Guaranteed Pick Six and a ball cap and t-shirt giveaway.
Triumphant Flight, owned by Tyler Seltzer and trained by Eric Kruljac, defeated open company while scoring a front-running victory in the six-furlong San Miguel Stakes at Santa Anita Park in his lone 2009 start to date. He will be stretching out to 1 1/8 miles in the race named in honor of the 1986 Preakness Stakes winner and champion 3-year-old.
The son of Chullo broke his maiden here in his first start last June while making his only Hollywood Park appearance. He was then beaten a nose in the Graduation at Del Mar, won the Barretts Juvenile and finished second in the Cal Cup Juvenile.
The field of 3-year-olds will line up as follows from the rail out:
Triumphant Flight, with Rafael Bejarano up, will carry 120 pounds; Korban, Joel Rosario, 116; Compari, Garrett Gomez, 116; He’s Really Big, Alex Solis, 116; J P Jammer, Aaron Gryder, 116; Feisty Suances, Victor Espinoza, 116; Warrens Stormalert, Mike Smith, 116; Danny Q, Michael Baze, 116; Unbridled Roman, Tyler Baze, 116; Wolfgang, Joseph Talamo, 116, and Green Card James, Corey Nakatani, 116.
Garrett Gomez, who leads Bejarano by approximately $500,000 as the country’s leading jockey with purses of $5.6 million, will return from Kentucky to ride nine horses including lightly-raced front-runner Compari for trainer Marty Jones in the Snow Chief.
Compari has started just twice, but drew off to register an impressive 3 ¾-length win to break his maiden March 29 on the turf at Santa Anita. Third in his career debut, he will be ridden by Gomez for the first time.
Feisty Suances, winner of his first three races including an allowance race here in November, has been competing with some of California’s leading 3-year-olds. He was second behind leading Kentucky Derby contender Pioneerof the Nile in the San Felipe and fifth behind him in the Santa Anita Derby.
Besides Triumphant Flight, who has earned $206,543, he is the leading money-winner in the field with $139,820.Gomez will also be aboard Golden Doc A in the $150,000 B. Thoughtful, Ruffled Feathers in the $60,000 Alphabet Kisses; Bel Air Sizzle in the $150,000 Fran’s Valentine; Spirit of Cochise in the $70,000 Grey Memo; Yodelady O in the $200,000 Melair; Medzendeekron in the $150,000 TVG Khaled, and Grazen in the $60,000 NTRA.
Golden Doc A, winner of the Grade I Las Virgenes in 2008, has not started since November. She is one of four horses on the program trained by Barry Abrams — all sired by Unusual Heat. Abrams won the B. Thoughtful last year with Spenditallbaby and the Melair with Bel Air Sizzle through disqualification.
Bel Air Sizzle, runner-up in the Santa Ana Handicap in her most recent start, is the most accomplished horse in the Fran’s Valentine with five wins in 19 starts and earnings of $457,366.
Sunshine Millions Oaks winner Beltene, owned by La Canada Stables and trained by Jack Carava, heads a nine-horse field for the Melair. Rosario, rider of four winners here opening day, has the call.
Jeffrey Sengara’s Stella Mark will defend his title in the $150,000 Tiznow with Talamo up. The Ted H. West-trained gelding has not started since finishing third in the 2008 Lone Star Park Handicap. His challengers will include 2008 On Trust Handicap winner Star Nicholas and recent Sensational Star Handicap winner Liberian Freighter.
A contentious ten-horse field for the TVG Khaled includes Crystal Water Handicap winner Medzendeekron, 2008 Cal Cup Mile champ Swift Winds, Portland Mile winner Crafty Power, and Harlene, upset winner of the 2008 Snow Chief.
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