Betfair Hollywood Park presents a pair of Grade 1 events on Saturday afternoon: the Triple Bend Handicap (post time: 3:38pm Pacific; TV: TVG) and the Shoemaker Mile (post time 5:10pm Pacific; TV: TVG). The Triple Bend is slated for seven furlongs on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track. The Shoemaker is run at
Below are the entries and post positions for the Triple Bend and the Shoemaker Mile, along with some quick thoughts on the fields for each race.
|G1-Triple Bend Handicap (post time: 3:38pm Pacific)|
|1||Tres Borrachos||V. Espinoza||M. Jones|
|2||Centralinteligence||J. Valdivia, Jr.||R. Ellis|
|3||Mobilized||G. Gomez||G. Mandella|
|4||Don Tito||M. Pedroza||J. Sadler|
|5||Camp Victory||J. Talamo||M. Mitchell|
|6||The Factor||R. Bejarano||B. Baffert|
|7||Smiling Tiger||M. Smith||J. Bonde|
|8||Comma to the Top||J. Hernandez||P. Miller|
|9||Italian Rules||K. Krigger||J. Sadler|
The Factor returns for his first start since finishing a distant 6th in the G1-Dubai Golden Shaheen and the Triple Bend looks like the perfect spot to get things back on track. Of his six lifetime victories, four have come at seven furlongs
Comma to the Top is looking for his first graded stakes win since the G1-CashCall Futurity way back in December of 2010. His last three tries against graded company have been unmitigated disasters: 6th ion the G2-Sir Beaufort, 9th in the G2-Vernon Underwood, and 19th in the Kentucky Derby.
Smiling Tiger has struggled since winning this race a year ago, finishing 3rd, 5th and 4th over his last three starts. He typically performs better over a synthetic surface so it's likely we'll see an improvement from this horse on Saturday.
Centralinteligence, a lightly raced four-year-old gelding by Smarty Jones, is looking for his first graded stakes win in his third try. In his last start he finished a good second to Roman Threat in the G3-Los Angeles Handicap.
If things get out of hand on the front-end in the Triple Bend, Mobilized could pose a big threat with a strong late kick. The Gary Mandella trainee has bounced around the allowance, listed and low level graded stakes portion of the glass ladder over the past year and has shown flashes of talent on occasion. He's run well at Hollywood in the past (5-2-0-2) and he won his only start at seven furlongs.
|G1-Shoemaker Mile (post time: 5:10pm Pacific)|
|1||Dubai You X Y Z||B. Blanc||M. Tsagalakis|
|2||Hudson Landing||J. Hernandez||B. Wright|
|3||Little Mike||J. Bravo||D. Romans|
|4||Suggestive Boy (ARG)||J. Talamo||R. McAnally|
|5||Jeranimo||G. Gomez||M. Pender|
|6||Corporate Jungle||R. Bejarano||C. Brown|
|7||Liberian Freighter||M. Garcia||N. Drysdale|
|8||Mr. Commons||M. Smith||J. Shirreffs|
A deep field of nine will contest the Shoemaker Mile led by Little Mike and Mr. Commons. Little Mike ships in from Churchill after winning the G1-Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Derby undercard. The Dale Romans trainee has won four of his last five starts and is 8-6-1-0 at a mile on the lawn.
Mr. Commons won his initial start of 2012 in the G2-Arcadia followed by a couple of second place finishes in the G1-Kilroe and G2-American Handicap. He's a tough colt to keep out of the top three.
Suggestive Boy (ARG) ships in from South America to make his U.S. debut but it remains to be seen if he can match the class in this field. Trainer Ron McAnally is 0-for-11 with horses making their first start in North America over the last five years. Only two of those 11 managed to finish in the money.