INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 20, 2011)-Trainer Marty Jones will be looking for his second win in three years in the $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes, the richest event on the 12th California Gold Rush program Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Restricted to California breds, the Gold Rush features eight stakes races – the $60,000 NTRA for maidens was split – with purses totaling $845,000. The Gold Rush events proved popular in 2011 as 88 horses were entered.
Post time for the 10-race card is 1 p.m. There will be a Hollywood Park sweatpants giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last.
Jones, who won the 2009 Snow Chief with Compari, will be represented by Drink At Buster’s in this year’s renewal for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track. It goes as the ninth race.
Owned by breeder Meadowbrook Farms, Inc., Drink At Buster’s, a son of Crafty C.T. and the Kris S. mare Eishin Georgia, has won two of five and earned $78,536. This will be his first start beyond seven furlongs on the main track. The chestnut earned his maiden victory locally, winning his debut at 4 ½ furlongs last May 19 for former trainer David La Croix.
Another trainer seeking his second Snow Chief win is Doug O’Neill. Hollywood Park’s leading conditioner at the 2010 Spring/Summer meet, O’Neill, who won the race in 2008 with Harlene, will saddle Thirtyfirststreet Saturday. Owned by Neil Haymes, Sterling Stable and Mark Gorman, who bred the colt with O’Neill, Thirtyfirstreet has won two of five and banked $110,400. The son of Good Journey and the Sky Classic mare Avian has a win and a second in two previous races at Hollywood Park.
Owned by co-breeder Carl Asadurian and trainer Scott Hansen, Chiloquin will be looking to remain perfect in his third start versus state breds. The gelded son of Tribal Rule and the Desert Mirage mare Zzyzzx Road, Chiloquin has won three of eight, earning $89,392.
After two starts on the turf at Santa Anita, Nahem will try Cushion Track for the first time since he finished seventh in his debut last Nov. 20.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher for owner-breeders John Harris and Michael and Cory Wellman, Nahem has one win in four starts with earnings of $44.400. The gelding is a son of Bertrando and the Moscow Ballet mare Miss Bev Hills.
Burns is another going turf to main track. The Unusual Heat gelding has won two of six, banking $80,240 for owner-breeder Madeline Auerbach and Sonny Pais and trainer Barry Abrams. Out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Little Hottie, Burns has never started at Hollywood Park.
Co-owned by trainer Mike Puype with breeders Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, Woodmans Luck is the most experienced member of the Snow Chief field. The son of Lucky Pulpit and the Woodman mare Royal Woodman has one win in 10 attempts, earning $62,546. He was third in the California Cup Juvenile last Oct. 30 in his most recent local appearance.
An Offlee Wild gelding out of the Grand Slam mare Match Ball, Offlee Wild Boys had a two race win streak snapped when he trailed in the Santa Anita Derby April 9. He’s won four of 12 and earned $109,004. Offlee Wild Boys is owned by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara and trained by Steve Miyadi.
From inside out, the field for the Snow Chief: Drink At Buster’s, Rafael Bejarano rides, 116 pounds; Chiloquin, Martin Pedroza, 116; Thirtyfirststreet, Joel Rosario, 120; Woodmans Luck, David Flores, 116; Burns, Chantal Sutherland, 118; Offlee Wild Boys, Joe Talamo, 118 and Nahem, Victor Espinoza, 116.
The other stakes races Saturday with six digit purses are the $125,000 Tiznow for older horses at 7 ½ furlongs, the $125,000 B. Thoughtful for older fillies and mares at 7 ½ furlongs and the $125,000 Melair for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
Fresh off two stakes wins during the Santa Anita season, Amazombie tops a field of 12 in the Tiznow.
Trained by Bill Spawr, who co-owns the 5-year-old with Thomas Sanford, Amazombie won the Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 29, then took the Potrero Grande, a Grade II, April 3. Sandwiched between those victories was a half-length defeat to Quick Enough, who is also in the Tiznow, in the Sensational Star Handicap Feb. 27.
A gelded son of Northern Afleet and the In Excess mare Wilshe Amaze, Amazombie has won seven of 17 and has a bankroll of $418,708.
Trained by O’Neill for owners Michael Bello, Russell Sarno and Pablo Suarez, Quick Enough returns to California after finishing eighth in the $272,300Al Quoz Sprint March 26 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.
Claimed by his current connections for $40,000 last Aug. 5 at Del Mar, Quick Enough has since won two of seven, including the grassy Morvich Handicap, a Grade III, last Oct. 11.
A 7-year-old High Brite gelding and the Moscow Ballet mare Donna B. Quick, Quick Enough has won eight of 20 and earned $375,360.
Others in the field include 2010 runner-up Bestdressed, who will be making his first start for owner Jeffrey Sengara and trainer Mike Mitchell after being claimed for $40,000 March 27, the O’Neill trained Scofield Barracks, who has been 1-2-3 in seven of nine over Cushion Track, Vadertore, making his first start outside Northern California for trainer Dean Pederson, and Autism Awareness, best known for his 62-1 upset in the 2008 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows.
Ten are entered in the Melair, including six last out winners (Burton’s Angel, Emily Pearl, Miles Rules, Screaming Regal, Shezabigbroad and Warren’s Flyer).
Looking for his fourth win in a row in the race, Rafael Bejarano has the call on Screaming Regal, who defeated maidens by 2 ¼ lengths when the 7-5 favorite April 3 at Santa Anita. She is owned by breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and trained by Eric Kruljac. The Old Topper filly and the Pulpit mare Royal Ride has earned $58,400 in five starts.
Ultra Blend, who won the California Cup Matron last Oct. 30 during the Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet, headlines the B. Thoughtful. Trained by Art Sherman for owner Nels Erickson, the 5-year-old Richly Blended mare out of the Desert Classic mare Ankha has won eight of 19 with earnings of $460,646.
Her opposition includes nine-time winner Lady Railrider, Excellent News, who won the Warren’s Thoroughbred Stakes on the 2010 Gold Rush card, and Dani Reese, who debuts for O’Neill after being claimed for $40,000 March 25.
The other Gold Rush stakes are the $60,000 Alphabet Kisses for maiden fillies and mares at six furlongs, the $70,000 Grey Memo for 3-year-olds & up at seven furlongs and the $70,000 Warren’s Thoroughbreds for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.
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