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Oldies Target Heatseeker in Hollywood Gold Cup

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 11:06:09 AM

The talent runs deep in Saturday’s $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, headed by the budding superstar Heatseeker. The John Shirreffs trainee once again faces the well-regarded Tiago, who was the last horse to defeat him, in the Oaklawn Handicap two back. That race was on dirt, however, and you’ll note that Heatseeker handled Tiago rather easily last out in The Californian at Hollywood and also in “The Big Cap” at Santa Anita on March 1st, both of which were run over the polytrack.

Also on hand to challenge Heatseeker is the venerable 9-year-old, Perfect Drift, and the hard-hitting 8-year-old, McCann’s Mojave. Perfect Drift, who was handled throughout his career by the capable Murray Johnson, moved to the barn of the great Dick Mandella for his 2008 campaign. The change of scenery appears to be agreeing with the old warhorse, as he turned in a solid performance in the grassy Shoemaker Mile, and has done exceptionally well in the interim. This winner of nearly $4.7M could grab a share of the purse. McCann’s Mojave has a record of 4-2-1-0 on polytrack, with both wins coming in Grade 3 events at Golden Gate Fields. He’s in top form, and should make his presence felt from just off the pace.

A relative youngster at age six, Student Council enters this contest with solid credentials, having just won the Grade 1 Pimlico Special, and with lifetime earnings in excess of $1.7M. This multiple-Grade 1 winner also captured the Pacific Classic last August at Del Mar, so the Asmussen charge has shown he’ll bring his “A” game when the big money’s on the line. He sports a record 7-3-0-0 on the poly.

Go Between, trained by Hall-of-Famer Billy Mott, has bagged more than $2M in career earnings. He rallied in the “Big Cap” to finish second behind Heatseeker, and retains the services of jockey Garrett Gomez for the Gold Cup. The ultra-consistent Go Between has hit the board in 19-of-24 lifetime starts, and has finished first or second in five of his last six starts.

Big Booster, trained by Mike Mitchell, has won his last pair at marathon distances of 1 5/8 and 1 ¾ miles, and finished a fast-closing third in this event last year, behind Lava Man and A. P. Xcellent.

Mast Track, Racketeer, and British invader Spice Route round out the field.

Selections:

First – Heatseeker

Second – Perfect Drift

Third – Tiago

Fourth – Go Between

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to betonline.com’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?

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