It will be Sidney’s Candy and Cost of Freedom early and Cozi Rosie late if Memorial Day weekend stakes plans work out for trainer John Sadler at Hollywood Park.
Sadler hopes to send out front-runners Sidney’s Candy in the $150,000 Grade II American Handicap Saturday and Cost of Freedom in the $100,000 Grade III Los Angeles Handicap May 30 and closer Cozi Rosie in the $250,000 Grade I Gamely Stakes May 30.
“I’ll make a final decision on Sidney’s Candy after he works tomorrow, but I’m leaning toward running,” said Sadler Sunday of the 4-year-old colt who finished second in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap here in his last start.
The American is at one mile on turf.
Cost of Freedom seeks to defend honors in the six-furlong Los Angeles and avenge a half-length defeat to M One Rifle in the five-furlong Cool Frenchy Stakes in their most recent starts here.
“Cost of Freedom should get a break in the weights this time,” said Sadler, pointing out that the 8-year-old gelding spotted M One Rifle six pounds in the Cool Frenchy.
“Cozi Rosie has run two bang-up races this year and will be up against her nemesis, Malibu Pier, again in the Gamely,” said Sadler of the first Grade I stake of the meet. The race is for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
“They have split their first two meetings,” said Sadler, hoping to capture the rubber match after winning the Buena Vista Handicap over her arch-rival and finishing second in the Santa Barbara Handicap.
MISS KELLER TO SHIP WEST FOR GAMELY
Victor Espinoza, who won the 2006 Gamely Stakes on Shining Energy, has taken a call to ride Canadian invader Miss Keller in the $250,000 Grade I race for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the grass here Memorial Day.
Miss Keller, a 5-year-old Irish-bred mare trained by Roger Attfield at Woodbine, has won five of 19 starts and earned $633,453 for Three Chimney Racing. She began her career in Ireland before joining the Attfield stable in 2009. She won the Grade II Canadian Stakes and finished second in the Group I E.P. Taylor Stakes on the Woodbine turf last autumn.
Miss Keller seeks to become the first shipper to win the Gamely since Miss Josh scored for Barclay Tagg in 1991.
Miss Keller will face a strong local challenge headed by Malibu Pier, winner of the Grade II Santa Barbara and Santa Ana handicaps on the Santa Anita turf in her last two starts for trainer Carla Gaines.
Other probable starters include Buena Vista Handicap winner Cozi Rosie (Mike Smith), the Simon Callaghan-trained duo of Wilshire Handicap winner Dubawi Heights (Joel Rosario) and 2010 Beverly Hills Handicap winner Turning Top (Garrett Gomez), 2010 Beverly D. Stakes winner Éclair de Lune (Chantal Sutherland) and Restless Soul (Joe Talamo).
Madera Castana, Celtic Princess and Lilly Fa Pootz head a list of possible starters. Lilly Fa Pootz worked six furlongs on turf in a bullet 1:13.20 Sunday.
LIBERIAN FREIGHTER WORKS FOR AMERICAN
Liberian Freighter, wire-to-wire winner of the Arcadia and Inglewood handicaps in his last two starts, worked seven furlongs on Cushion Track Sunday in 1:27.40 for the American Handicap Saturday.
Jockey Martin Garcia has the call back on the 6-year-old California-bred gelding for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, a three-time American winner. The American has been moved from its traditional Fourth of July spot on the calendar and shortened one furlong to one mile on turf.
Other probable starters include multiple stakes winners Sidney’s Candy (Joel Rosario) and The Usual Q.T. (Victor Espinoza) and French import Goldwaki (Brice Blanc), ready for his United States debut for Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, a four-time American winner.
Three other possible entrants also worked on turf Sunday: Smokey Lonesome, a bullet four furlongs in :48.40; Compari, four furlongs in 50.40 breezing; and Leroy’s Dynameaux, five furlongs in 1:01.20.
AMAZOMBIE, M ONE RIFLE, COST OF FREEDOM VIE IN L.A. ’CAP
Cost of Freedom seeks to become the first horse to win consecutive runnings of the Los Angeles Handicap when the race is run for the 59th time on Memorial Day, but it won’t be easy.
The venerable California-bred 8-year-old gelding will be challenged by two other formidable Cal-breds, M One Rifle and Amazombie, in the Grade III test at six furlongs.
Cost of Freedom led all the way to win the race in 1:08.49 last year and give trainer John Sadler a record fifth win in the sprint. M One Rifle faded to fourth last year but defeated Cost of Freedom by one-half length in the Cool Frenchy Stakes May 7 in track-record time of 55.98 for five furlongs. M One Rifle is trained by Bruce Headley, a three-time Los Angeles winner whose Street Boss set a track record of 1:07.55 winning the race in 2008.
Amazombie, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Bill Spawr, has emerged as the new kid on the block in recent months, including victories in the Grade II Potrero Grande and Tiznow stakes in his last two outings.
Chantal Sutherland will be back aboard M One Rifle while Mike Smith has the call on Amazombie. Other probable starters include Gato Go Win (Garrett Gomez) and Supreme Summit (Rafael Bejarano).
Possibles include Camp Victory and Indian Firewater, who worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.60 Sunday.
The only horse to win the Los Angeles twice was Native Diver, in 1965 and 1967.
FINISH LINES—Alan Sherman, son of an assistant to trainer Art Sherman, said that Ultra Blend, winner of the Grade II Milady Handicap Saturday, would probably return in the $200,000 Grade II A Gleam Handicap at seven furlongs July 16. The disqualification of favored St Trinians from first to fourth for interference in the stretch deprived trainer Mike Mitchell of a milestone 2,500th victory. Mitchell did reach the milestone in Sunday’s first race, winning with heavily-favored One Bad Romance, who was ridden by Joe Talamo, the rider of St Trinians. Talamo was suspended for three days by stewards for the Milady incident. The suspension begins May 28 and contines through May 30…. Patrick Valenzuela has taken a call on Separate Forest, winner of the Las Cienegas Handicap, in the $70,000-added Great Lady M Stakes at six furlongs on turf May 29. La Nez, another candidate for the race, worked four furlongs in 48.80 Sunday…Calimonco, a 5-year-old full brother to 2009 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Life Is Sweet, has joined the John Sadler barn for owner-breeders Pam and Marty Wygod. The son of Storm Cat out of the Kris S. mare Sweet Life recorded three firsts, seven seconds and five thirds in 22 starts for trainer Bill Mott …Champion filly Blind Luck worked five furlongs in 1:00 for the Grade I Vanity Handicap June 18 to the satisfaction of Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer …Twirling Candy worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:10.80 for the $150,000 Californian June 4 for the Sadler barn… Garrett Gomez will ride at Belmont Park in New York Saturday…Multiple stakes winner Cambina worked five furlongs on turf in 1:00.20 for a probable start in the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap on June 11…Birthday wishes this week to jockey Victor Espinoza, 39 Monday; and trainers Doug O’Neill and Joe Herrick , 43 and 49, respectively, on Tuesday.
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