INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 26, 2010)-Tuscan Evening, who is undefeated in four starts in 2010 with all of the wins coming in graded races, will try to do something she has never done before in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
For all her accomplishments, the 5-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream out of the Suave Dancer mare The Faraway Tree is without a Grade 1 victory.
Owned by William DeBurgh and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tuscan Evening can change that against a stellar field in the Gamely, a 1 1/8 mile turf race.
Voted Horse of the Meet at Santa Anita after consecutive wins in the Monrovia, Buena Vista, Santa Ana and Santa Barbara Handicaps, Tuscan Evening will have seven foes. She will be aiming for her second win in three tries at nine furlongs.
In her most recent appearance at Hollywood Park, Tuscan Evening was second, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by the now retired Ventura, in the Matriarch, a Grade 1, last Nov. 28.
This was the only time Tuscan Evening has failed to win in four starts on the Hollywood Park grass. Her biggest local victory came in the Royal Heroine, a Grade II, last July 11.
Rafael Bejarano will take his usual place atop Tuscan Evening, who has won 10 of 25 while earning $899,408. She will carry 123 pounds.“We’re ready,” said Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s assistant trainer. “(Her opponents) better be ready to run a mile and an eighth in 1:45 and change, because that’s what we’re going to do.”
If Tuscan Evening is to keep her roll going, she is going to have to deal with Forever Together.
Trained by Jonathan Sheppard for Augustin Stable, the 6-year-old gray daughter of Belong To Me and the Relaunch mare Constant Companion has won nine of 21 and banked $2,842,639. She will also carry 123.
A multiple Grade 1 winner, Forever Together will be making her Hollywood Park debut. However, she is no stranger to California. In 2008, she won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita, then was third in the same event behind Midday and Pure Clan last fall in Arcadia.
Forever Together, who will be ridden for the first time by Rajiv Maragh as Julien Leparoux is sidelined with a back injury, will be seeking to end a four race losing streak on Saturday.
Her last win came in the Diana, her second in a row in the Grade 1, last Aug. 1 at Saratoga.
Jockey Alex Solis and trainer Paddy Gallagher, who combined to win the 2009 Gamely with Magical Fantasy, are hoping for another victory with General Consensus. If successful, they would become the first jockey-trainer combination to win the Gamely in back-to-back years.
Now based in Kentucky, Solis has already returned to Hollywood Park once this meet to win a stakes, taking the Railbird with Tanda on May 9.
Owned by Sierra Farm, General Consensus, a 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway mare and the Seattle Slew mare Shootforthestars, was second, one length behind Tuscan Evening, in the Santa Barbara on April 17. She has won four of 16 and earned $243,494.
Tuscan Evening isn’t the only Gamely streaker. Medaglia d’Amour has won three in a row on turf after finishing eighth of 10 in her career debut last July 31 on the Polytrack at Del Mar.
Trained by Ben Cecil for his wife Kristina and Zillah Reddam, the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and the Blushing John mare Izara was successful in her first foray into graded company.
She won the Wilshire Handicap, a Grade III, in her initial attempt at Hollywood Park on May 1. Bred in Kentucky by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, Medaglia d’Amour has earned $116,200. The Gamely will be her first attempt beyond one mile.
Another filly worthy of consideration is Well Monied. Owned by C.T. Grether Inc. and trained by Howard Zucker, the 4-year-old daughter of Maria’s Mon and the Quiet American mare Queen Of America has won two of three on the Hollywood Park turf. Overall, she is 4-for-9 with earnings of $371,300.
In her lone race of 2010, Well Monied won a $56,800 allowance on April 4 at Santa Anita, but was no worse than third in three starts in graded company as a 3-year-old. Her win came in the 2009 Honeymoon Handicap in Inglewood and she was second behind Gozzip Girl in the American Oaks, a Grade 1, five weeks later.
Completing the cast are Gotta Have Her, who has won eight of 25 and banked $882,608 for owner Green Lantern Stables LLC and trainer Jenine Sahadi, Cat By The Tale, who was second to Tuscan Evening in the Santa Ana and the runner-up to Medaglia d’Amour in the Wilshire, and Princess Haya, fifth in the Wilshire in her California debut for owner-breeder Eileen Hartis and trainer Carl O’Callaghan.
From the inside out, here is the field for the 43rd Gamely: Gotta Have Her, Tyler Baze rides, 119 pounds; Medaglia d’Amour, Joel Rosario, 117; Forever Together, Rajiv Maragh, 123; Tuscan Evening, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Well Monied, Mike Smith, 119; General Consensus, Alex Solis, 117; Princess Haya, Joe Talamo, 123 and Cat By The Tale, Martin Garcia, 119.
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