INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 1, 2009) — Whatsthescript, a 29-1 upset winner a year ago, will carry high weight of 120 pounds Saturday as he defends his title in the 70th running of the American Handicap on the Independence Day program at Hollywood Park.
The Irish-bred, owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, will be making his second 2009 start in the Grade II American, which will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the Lakeside Turf Course. Whatsthescript finished fourth in his season debut on Memorial Day, beaten less than one length in the Shoemaker Mile.
Whatsthescript, a 5-year-old horse by Royal Applause, has won six of 15 starts for earnings of $829,964. He also won the Generous Stakes here as a 2-year-old.
The American, which will run as the eighth race on Saturday’s nine-race program, drew a field of six, which lines up as follows from the rail out:
Buenos Dias, with Joseph Talamo up, will carry 113 pounds; Storm Military, Brice Blanc, 117; Giant Gem, Alex Solis, 114; Monterey Jazz, Tyler Baze, 119; Whatsthescript, Joel Rosario, 120, and Artiste Royal, Rafael Bejarano, 118.
Storm Military, third in the Shoemaker Mile, will be aiming to turn the tables on Whatsthescript as he finished second — beaten 1 ¼ lengths — in the 2008 American. The 7-year-old stalked winner Thorn Song throughout the Shoemaker and was only beaten a neck in a three-horse photo. He enters the American with eight wins in 21 starts for earnings of $380,482.
Artiste Royal, an 8-year-old from the Neil Drysdale stable, will shorten up after finishing third in the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on turf in June. A winner of seven of 31 starts, each of his three North American wins has come at 1 ¼ miles — the 2007 Clement L. Hirsch, the 2008 Whittingham and the 2009 San Marcos. A victory would push him over the $1-million mark in career earnings as he enters the American with a bankroll of $931,790.
Five-year-old Monterey Jazz, a winner of seven of 18 starts and $580,880, won an allowance race at one mile on turf here in May. He won the Sir Beaufort on turf in his final start at three and captured the Strub at Santa Anita in his debut at four. Four of his victories have come on grass courses.
Gaint Gem, also trained by Drysdale, steps up after an allowance win on turf by three-quarters of a length over Buenos Dias, who was making his North American debut in the June 4 race.
Post time Saturday at Hollywood Park is 1 p.m.
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