For this weekend’s Horse Racing Race of the Week, we return to Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California for the 2012 Hollywood Starlet Stakes where Executivepriviledge will try to bounce back from her 2012 Breeders Cup Filly defeat and re-stake her claim for two year old filly champion.
Executiveprivilege will try for her third Grade I win of 2012 when she takes on seven other 2-year-old fillies in the $500,000-guaranteed, 1 1/16 miles event.
Mike Smith replaces Rafael Bejarano, who had ridden the filly in each of her previous starts. Smith worked Executiveprivilege a half mile in :47 seconds flat 3 weeks ago at Santa Anita.
Three races earlier on Saturday’s card at Hollywoodis the 2012 Bayakoa Stakes where Inglorious, who was an electrifying winner of the Queens Plate last year but has disappointed since, makes her first west coast start.
Bayakoa, the race’s namesake, was an outstanding mare as she won back to back Eclipse Awards as champion older mare in 1989 and 1990 while amassing an eye popping 29 wins from 39 career starts.
Unfortunately she will probably best be remembered for being the one who was battling the great Go for Wand down the stretch in the 1990 Breeders Cup Distaff at Belmont Park
In that race these two great horses were giving it there all and after they came off of the final turn and entered the last furlong, Go For Wand’s leg shattered in one of the most grotesque accidents this correspdant has ever seen.
Bayakoa continued on to the wire for the win, and Go For Wand had to be euthanized immediately.
Betfair Hollywood Park – Saturday, December 8, 2012
Race 9 – 4:35 PM
Hollywood Starlet S. (Grade I)
Purse $500,000. For Fillies
Two Years Old
One And One Sixteenth Miles. (All Weather Track)
G K Gomez
K G McPeek
J R Leparoux
T F Proctor
M E Smith
D F O’Neill
1) Executiveprivilege- this durable (7 starts in 6 months) and versatile filly was well on her way to winning the Eclipse Award for best two year old filly of 2012 but stubbed her toe a bit when unable to reel in a loose on the lead, took advantage of a speed bias, Beholder in the Breeders Cup to suffer her first career defeat.
Her six other starts were all of quality and class including two (back to back) Grade: 1 wins, one from off the pace and the other while on it.
She figures to go off as a heavy post time favorite and rightfully so and if she wins on Saturday, (and I suspect she will) she is getting my Eclipse Award vote.
2) Blonde Fog- forms a powerful one-two punch for trainer Bob Baffert as she is an uncoupled mate of the top pick.
This obscurely bred bay filly absolutely annihilated a field of maidens in her debut as she ran away and “hid” in winning by 12 ½ lengths on Oct 28.
She shows four solid works since that race and don’t think I didn’t notice she made her debut at 1 1/16’s miles and not at a sprint. That, in and amongst itself, speaks volumes.
Only thing that concerns me is that jump straight from maidens to a Grade: 1 race.
3) Pure Fun- after going 1 for 5 on the turf, they decided to put this filly by the gorgeous Pure Prize back on the dirt surface and boy, did she take to it.
She trounced a field of optimal claimers by 9+ lengths at Churchill in Kentucky in her last. Her trainer, Kenneth Mc Peek, is no “babe in the woods” and he must have seen something that day to make him want to ship more than half away across the country to run in this spot.
Big money rider (Garret Gomez) named to ride and looms a threat provided she takes to the synthetic surface.
Midnight Ballet is 2 for 2 over synthetics including a win over this very track. Closes…. longshot possibility here. Scarlet Strike has never been off the board in her career and wasn’t completely embarrassed by the top pick in the one and only time she met her…I wouldn’t be completely shocked if she hits the board here.
Record: 24-71= 34%
Little Bets N’ Pieces:
**** Henny Hughes will stand the 2013 breeding season at Walmac Farm near Lexington under a lease arrangement for a fee of $7,500. The now 9-year-old stallion currently stands at Rangeview Stud in Western Australia
Henny Hughes, who began his stallion career at Darley Stud in Lexington, ranks first this year in North America by number of 2-year-old stakes winners with six including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Beholder.
“What a brilliant year Henny Hughes has had,” said John T.L. JonesIII, managing director of Walmac Stud Management LLC. “He is arguably the top sire of precocious 2-year-old performance in North America today, being the leading sire of 2-year-old stakes winners and getting such a freak of a filly in Beholder, who impressed us all with her two-turn victory in the Breeders’ Cup.”
**** Jockey Frankie Dettori has been suspended from racing for six months by French Racing Stewards following a positive drug test.
Dettori tested positive for an “unidentified banned substance” on Sept. 16 at a race meet Longchamp. The ban is likely to be extended worldwide and runs until May 19, 2013.
**** 2012 Spinster winner In Lingerie has been retired from racing and will be bred to two-time Cartier Horse of the Year Frankel.
Trained by Todd Pletcher she also won the Bourbonette and Black-Eyed Susan , and was second in the Alabama and third in the Coaching Club American Oaks. She retires with a record of 4-2-1from seven starts, and earnings of $712,265.
**** Carlo Vaccarezza, owner and breeder of Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike, said the gelding will be pointed to the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic March 30 at Meydan Racecourse.
“People never believed in this horse,” Vaccarezza said. “He’d win at a mile and people would say, ‘Let’s see what he does at a mile and an eighth. He won at (that distance) at Churchill Downs and his jockey, Joe Bravo—who I still love—took off the mount when he went to the mile and a quarter in the Arlington Million. He wanted to ride Turbo Compressor atSaratoga. He didn’t believe in the horse. But here comes Little Mike again and he won….They thought we were really crazy when we went to one and a half miles, but he did it again,” Vaccarezza added.
2012 Arlington Million and Breeders Cup Turf winner Little Mike is heading to Dubai in the spring.
**** Speaking of the racing in Dubai, trainer Dale Romans said Pacific Classic winner Dullahan would be pointed to the Dubai World Cup.at Meydan racetrack.
Meydan features Tapeta footings and Dullahan has won three (Grade 1) of three starts on synthetic surfaces. (Pacific Classic, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, and Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity).
**** Leading sire Pulpit died of an apparent heart attack in his paddock Thursday at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. according to farm manager Bradley Purcell.
“We are all shocked and very sad,” said Purcell. “Pulpit has meant so much to Claiborne Farm, first as a race horse and later as a stallion. Thankfully, we know his legacy will continue on through his sons and daughters.”
Pulpit, 18, (A.P. Indy—Preach, by Mr. Prospector) has sired 63 stakes winners including 11 Grade I winners. The list includes Power Broker, Corinthian, Ice Box , Pyro, Sky Mesa, Stroll, Purge, and superstar stallion Tapit.
Pulpit will be buried at Claiborne Farm.
Pulpit, who was an outstanding sire, shown here in his racing days died Thursday in his paddock.