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Hollywod Script

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 9/27/2010 10:54:00 AM

Today we’ll cover one of the three $2 million Breeders’ Cup races going on Friday night November 5, the Filly and Mare Turf, but before we get there, a few words about the upcoming Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park is in order.

The meet will be held for the first time ever at Hollywood because of the renovation at Santa Anita and it kicks off Thursday September 30 and will run through Halloween. The first weekend will feature 6 Grade 1 events that will serve as stepping-stones to the Breeders’ Cup but bettors should know a few things about those that have excelled at this track of late.

Last year at Santa Anita, Rafael Bejarano won the riding title by one winner over Joel Rosario and they will fight it out once again. Pat Valenzuela, who has been keeping busy at Louisiana Downs since Fairplex is in action, finished third at the recent Del Mar stand and he will come to this meet full of momentum.

For those that stir the drink, the trainers, last year Bob Baffert ran away with the title with 24 winners with the usual suspects, John Sadler and Mike Mitchell in close pursuit. Three smaller barns did very well with limited starters and those conditioners, Eric Kruljac, Howard Zucker and Brian Koriner appear loaded for bear this year too.

Astute bettors have to be on the bandwagon of two other trainers that stabled at Hollywood during the Del Mar meet and that pair, Jeff Mullins and Ron Ellis, should have huge meets. Hollywood plays closer to a conventional dirt track than any other in SoCal at this point in time and runners that have shown an affinity for the surface must be given a definitive edge.

Now on to the Cup.

The Filly and Mare Turf goes at a mile and three eighths and some interesting things have happened in this race over the years.

The event has been won by some real runners including Banks Hill, Forever Together and the pair that won at Churchill in Perfect Sting and Ouija Board.

In 2000 Perfect Sting came from far back at 5-1 to score by a diminishing three quarters of a length for cagey Eastern trainer Joe Orseno. Six years later Ouiji Board became the only horse to win this event twice as she sat a perfect trip; about 5 lengths off a slow pace to win going away at odds-on for trainer Edward Dunlop.

You can get value in this race as despite Board’s short price, the superfecta with 16, 10 and 18-1 shots came back over $3,200.

This year it could very well be just another vehicle for last year’s winner, Midday. At Santa Anita last season, Midday was a close 2nd choice and won under urging from just 2 lengths off the pace. She has won 3 of 4 this year and is coming off a Group 1 win at Longchamp on September 12.

Oriental flare can look to Red Desire, who will likely use the Flower Bowl at Belmont as a final BC prep. She has been one of the best of her sex in her native Japan for a couple of years now and has won over $3.5 million.

The wise thing to do in this race most of the time is to concentrate on the foreigners in the fray as they are honed and bred for this kind of competition.

With that in mind, the world-class Andre Fabre could roll out Deluxe and Plumania for this event while Stacelita, who has earned close to $1.5 million, rates a longshot look.

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