INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 12, 2012)—Dhaamer will try for his first graded victory in the $100,000 Sunset Handicap Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A Grade III at 1 ½ miles on turf, the Sunset is the third of 10 races on the final day of the Spring/Summer meet. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
Owned by Edward Brown, Jr. and Jay Manoogian and trained by Mike Mitchell, Dhaamer won the Round Table Stakes by 4 ½ lengths at the Sunset distance May 13.
The victory was the first in three starts in the United States for the 5-year-old Irish bred. A gelded son of Dubai Destination and the Ahonoora mare Arjuzah, Dhaamer has won four of 13 and earned $114,272. He will be ridden for the first time by Julien Leparoux, who is engaged to Mitchell’s daughter Shea.
Recovering from recent brain surgery, Mitchell is looking for his second victory in the Sunset, winning previously with Star Over the Bay in 2004.
Juniper Pass drops out of the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 9. The Lemon Drop Kid horse finished fourth, beaten 5 ¾ lengths by Acclamation. The 5-year-old, who is owned by Robert and Betty Irvin and trained by Ray Bell, also finished fourth in his first start of 2012 – a $62,000 allowance May 19.
Bred in Kentucky by Brookdale Thoroughbreds, Juniper Pass has won four of 15 and earned $307,375.
No worse than third in three American outings for trainer Patrick Biancone, Quaintly will take on males again after finishing third – beaten by a half-length – in the Grade III Beverly Hills Handicap June 24.
A 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway and the Seeking the Gold mare Measure, Quaintly was second in the Round Table the last time she opposed the opposite sex.
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Quaintly has two wins in 14 races and a bankroll of $66,142. The last female to win the Sunset was Petite Ile for owner Jean-Francois Malle and trainer Ed Gregson in 1990.
Third at 23-1 in his 2012 debut in an optional claimer June 16, Romp will be trying to end a nine race losing streak.
Owned by Sisters in Racing Stable and Jeff Siskin and trained by Kristin Mulhall, the 8-year-old Incurable Optimist gelding – who was only a head behind winner Interaction in his comeback race – hasn’t won since Oct. 21, 2010. He prevailed by a nose at 12-1 in a $44,704 allowance over Cushion Track during the Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet.
Out of the Hidden Prize mare Stormy Secret, the Argentine bred has won four of 50. Romp has earned $239,163.
Renegade Storm comes back seven days after a sixth place finish in an optional claimer at 1 ¼ miles on turf. Trained by Marty Jones for Jonathan Atha, Elizabeth Biggs, David Meyers, Dale Pyle and Marilyn Suazo, the 6-year-old is a gelded son of Storm Creek and the Alysheba mare Alygria. He has two wins in 25 starts and a bankroll of $181,768.
From inside out, the field for the 71st Sunset Handicap: Romp, Martin Garcia rides, 113 pounds; Quaintly, Yuichi Fukunaga, 110; Juniper Pass, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Dhaamer, Julien Leparoux, 118 and Renegade Storm, Garrett Gomez, 112.
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