INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 1, 2011)—Washington Bridge will try to become the third filly to go back-to-back in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap when she takes on six opponents Sunday at Hollywood Park.
A Grade II at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, the Bayakoa is the eighth of nine races. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
Owned by Mark DeDomenico and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Washington Bridge rallied from last to win the 2010 Bayakoa, defeating Sister Dawn and five others.
If she is successful Sunday, Washington Bridge, a 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Gentleman and the Prized mare Stirling Bridge, will join Manistique (1998-1999) and Starrer (2001-2002) as a two time winner of the Bayakoa.
An earner of $273,502 with five victories in 26 starts, Washington Bridge is winless in eight races since her Bayakoa success. In her most recent outing, she was third in the restricted Swingtime Stakes on the Santa Anita turf Oct. 8, defeated by 1 ½ lengths by eventual Las Palmas winner All Star Heart.
DeDomenico and Hollendorfer’s other representative will be City to City.
A 4-year-old daughter of City Zip and the Storm Cat mare Stormhow, City to City has won six of 21 and banked $401,491. The Bayakoa will be her first race on a synthetic surface since she finished fifth in the Corte Madera Dec. 5, 2009 at Golden Gate Fields. She is also owned in part by William DeBurgh.
Sixth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, Champagne d’Oro will stretch out again for trainer Eric Guillot and owners Southern Equine Stable and Mike Smith.
The 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and the Saratoga Six mare Champagne Glow is 3-for-21 with earnings of $619,940. She has lost nine in succession since winning the Grade I Test Aug. 7, 2010 at Saratoga and is 0-for-5 around two turns.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will aim for his first Bayakoa win when he saddles Ellafitz.
Owned by D&E Racing, the 4-year-old Tiznow filly out of the Dixieland Band mare Skat Girl has won three of 11 while banking $140,857. In her only previous start in a graded race, Ellafitz was third in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Jan. 10, 2010 at Santa Anita in what was her first outing for Baffert.
Love Theway Youare and Bauble Queen are the lone 3-year-olds in the field and sophomore fillies have fared very well in this event in recent years. Five of the last seven winners were 3-year-olds, including Hollywood Story (2004), Foxysox (2006), Romance Is Diana (2007), Briecat (2008) and Washington Bridge.
Owned by trainer Myung Kwon Cho, Love Theway Youare has won two of 12 and earned $119,720. The Arch filly out of the Tabasco Cat mare Diversa posted her most recent win at Hollywood Park, taking an optional claimer at the Bayakoa distance April 22.
Trained by Eric Kruljac for Class Racing Stable, Bauble Queen returns to synthetic after three consecutive races on turf. She is 1-for-1 locally, having earned her maiden victory by 5 ¼ lengths June 12.
A daughter of Arch and the Storm Cat mare Muneta, Bauble Queen has won two of six. Her bankroll is $110,257.
Miss Mittagong enters off a 14-1 upset in an optional claimer Nov. 12 for owners Kristina Cecil and Zillah Reddam and trainer Ben Cecil. The 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect filly out of the Falstaff mare Go Go has won three of 14 and earned $95,324.
From inside out, the field for the 30th Bayakoa Handicap: Love Theway Youare, Alonso Quinonez rides, 113 pounds; Washington Bridge, Joe Talamo, 116; Ellafitz, Martin Garcia, 116; Miss Mittagong, Joel Rosario, 115; Champagne d’Oro, Victor Espinoza, 118; Bauble Queen, Rafael Bejarano, 113 and City to City, Garrett Gomez, 121.
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