INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 27, 2011)—Well Monied, the winner of the 2009 Honeymoon Handicap, will make her first start in 11 months in the $100,000 Wilshire Handicap Saturday at Hollywood Park.
A Grade III at one mile, the Wilshire is the eighth of nine races and is the first in a three race series on grass during the Spring/Summer meet for older fillies and mares. It precedes the Gamely Stakes May 30 and the Beverly Hills Handicap June 26. Post time Saturday is 1 p.m.
In her graded stakes debut, Well Monied won the Honeymoon as a 3-year-old by 1 ¼ lengths as the 7-5 favorite. She has failed to win in four subsequent starts and is returning after a temporary retirement in 2010.
In her most recent race, the 5-year-old gray daughter of Maria’s Mon and the Quiet American mare Queen of America was fourth in the Gamely last May 29. She finished 1 ½ lengths behind Tuscan Evening.
Owned by C.T. Grether, Inc. and trained by Howard Zucker, Well Monied has won four of 10 with earnings of $386,300.
“She came back last year off a long layoff to win,’’ said Zucker. “She’s training better than ever.’’
A winner of more than $250,000 since being claimed for $16,000 by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer some 16 ½ months ago, Lilly Fa Pootz will be seeking her second victory over the Hollywood Park turf.
Owned by Hollendorfer and Team Green, the 6-year-old daughter of Gilded Time and the Fit to Fight mare Dark Rhythm has been 1-2-3 in 13 of 17 for her current connections. She has four wins since being taken Dec. 10, 2009 at Golden Gate Fields.
Lilly Fa Pootz, whose victory here came in an allowance race last June 27, has won eight of 35. Her bankroll is $295,332.
The most accomplished member of the lineup in terms of local wins is Talktoomuch.
A 7-year-old daughter of Royal Academy and the Hard Up mare Tatler, she has won six of eight over the Hollywood Park grass. Two of those wins have come for Mike Mitchell, who claimed Talktoomuch for $32,000 for Indizguys Stable last Nov. 4.
The partners in Indizguys are longtime Los Angeles sportswriter and current track publicist Jack Disney, his brother Doug, Ross Newhan, the former baseball writer for the Los Angeles Times and a member of the writer’s wing of baseball’s Hall of Fame, Paul Salata, a former wide receiver in both the NFL and All America Football Conference and the creator of the “Mr. Irrelevant Award’’, which annually honors the last player chosen in the NFL draft and former major league catcher Buck Rodgers, who also managed the Montreal Expos, Milwaukee Brewers as well as the Angels.
This will be the first start in a graded race for Talktoomuch, who earned her maiden victory against $8,000 claimers Sept. 21, 2008 at Golden Gate. She has won nine of 34 with earnings of $244,174.
Dubawi Heights has won two in a row for trainer Simon Callaghan, who owns the English bred in partnership, after failing in her initial two races in the United States. The 4-year-old Dubawi filly out of the Suave Dancer mare Rosie’s Posy is 2-for-10 lifetime with a bankroll of $449,146. Her best finish in two Group races in her native land was a third in the Lowther Stakes Aug. 23, 2009 at York.
Callaghan also entered Smart Striking, who has a second and a third in her first two races in this country. Owned by Clodagh McStay, the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly out of the Green Desert mare Jellett has two wins in eight attempts with earnings of $57,215. Both of her wins came in Ireland.
First or second in four of five on the Hollywood Park turf, Burg Berg enters off a second place finish in the restricted Santa Lucia March 27 at Santa Anita. Trained by Paco Gonzalez for owner-breeders John and Cheryl Toffan, the 5-year-old daughter of Johannesburg and the Seattle Sleet mare Snowberg has four wins in 19 attempts. She has earned $260,892.
Burg Berg’s last victory came in the restricted Swingtime at the Wilshire distance last Oct. 10 during the Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet.
Blue Maiden, whose lone win since arriving from England came on the Hollywood Park turf course last Oct. 3, will be trying to give Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella his third Wilshire victory. Mandella’s prior wins came with Reluctant Guest (1990) and Spring Star (2004).
Owned by Earle Mack, Blue Maiden, a 4-year-old Medicean filly out of the Generous mare Bluebelle, has two wins in 13 starts and has earned $126,497.
Mandella’s second entrant is Miss Pleasant. A 5-year-old Pleasantly Perfect mare out of the Spend a Buck mare Harvest the Gold hasn’t been out since trailing in the Adoration last Sept. 5 at Del Mar. Owned by Diamond A Racing Corporation, Miss Pleasant has won three of seven and earned $78,820, but she is 0-for-2 on turf.
Another Hall of Fame trainer – Neil Drysdale – will be aiming for his second Wilshire win. Drysdale, who won with Sapphire Ring in 1999, will send out Chilean bred Vamo a Galupiar.
Owned by Robert Evans, the 4-year-old Proud Citizen filly out of the Special Quest mare Afirmate Catalina won three of four in her native country, including the Clasico Arturo Lyon Pena, a Group I, last June 18. Vamo a Galupiar has earned $53,412.
Saanneen, who had two wins and two seconds in four races down the hillside at Santa Anita earlier in the year, will try two turns for the first time in her career. Owned by breeder Janavar Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Leonard Powell, Saanneen has four victories in 12 starts. She has a bankroll of $135,100.
One of Saanneen’s runner-up efforts in 2011 was behind La Nez in the Irish O’Brien March 19 at Santa Anita.
No factor in her U.S. debut in the Wishing Well Jan. 30 at Santa Anita, Givine will stretch to her favorite distance Saturday. The 4-year-old daughter of Blackdoun and the Double Bed mare Viguerie has won five of nine with a bankroll of $101,482. Four of those victories have come at one mile. Julio Canani, who won the 2001 Wilshire with Tranquility Lake, trains Givine for owner Marsha Naify.
From inside out, the field for the 50th Wilshire Handicap: Burg Berg, Martin Pedroza rides, 117 pounds; Blue Maiden, Martin Garcia, 114; Givine, Alonso Quinonez, 115; Lilly Fa Pootz, Mike Smith, 117; Miss Pleasant, Chantal Sutherland, 114; Well Monied, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Dubawi Heights, Joel Rosario, 113; Saanneen, Victor Espinoza, 113; Vamo a Galupiar, David Flores, 118; Smart Striking, Luis Medina, 114 and Talktoomuch, Joe Talamo, 115.
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