All four Saturday stakes winners at Betfair Hollywood Park returned well, according to their respective connections.
Trainer John Sadler, who swept the three graded stakes, declared that Scherer Magic, winner of the Grade III Hollywood Juvenile Championship, Switch, who captured the Grade II A Gleam Handicap, and Lady of Shamrock, victorious in the Grade I American Oaks, all were “walking good” Sunday morning.
Sadler will be sending part of his stable to Del Mar, but will keep several at Betfair Hollywood Park.
“We’ll be shipping out today and tomorrow,” said Sadler, “but we’re leaving a big string here. This is a great place to train.”
Mike Marlow, assistant trainer to Bob Baffert, said Executiveprivilege, who is 2-for-2 after running away with the Landaluce Stakes, also came back well.
“She’s so professional for a 2-year-old,” beamed Marlow. “She’s got everything – ability and a great mind. It’s scary how good she is.”
Baffert, who has clinched his second consecutive Spring/Summer meet training title, was quick to compliment his entire stable staff – and Marlow in particular – after the Landaluce.
Heading into Sunday’s closing day card, Baffert has 34 winners from 93 starters, seven more than Sadler. The Hall of Famer also leads with 11 stakes victories.
On a side note, Baffert disclosed on his Twitter account that Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister will miss the Haskell due to a temperature.
TRAINER WINS, PROPOSES IN WINNER’S CIRCLE
Vod Farris would argue with anyone who claims Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.
The trainer watched his 5-year-old gelding Lone Justice win Friday night’s first race at Betfair Hollywood Park, then got down on one knee and proposed to longtime girlfriend Alexis Swenson in the winner’s circle. The bride-to-be gave him a resounding “Yes’’ with a big smile and a giant embrace. Jockey Kevin Krigger also contributed several congratulatory hugs.
“I’ve wanted to propose in the winner’s circle either here or at Los Al for two months now,” said Farris, “but I’ve been in a little slump.”
It was the first victory from 25 starters at the Inglewood track for Farris, who is based at Los Alamitos. The couple has set the wedding date for Dec. 12 in Las Vegas.
CLOSING STRIDES— The claiming fervor that has engulfed Betfair Hollywood Park the last two weeks reached a crescendo Friday when 15 claims were dropped for Master Chef. The 5-year-old Vronsky gelding won the fifth race by a nose and moved from Mark Glatt to Peter Miller. The number of claims was an individual high for the meet….. Jeff Mullins reports that Wilkinson, upset winner of the Grade II American Handicap May 26, is recovering well from surgery after a bout with colic…… Rafael Bejarano, the runaway leader in the jockey standings, entered Sunday with 73 victories from 245 mouts. Joe Talamo is distant second with 48. Martin Garcia and Joel Rosario are tied for third with 26 victories. Bejarano last topped the standings at Betfair Hollywood Park in 2008, when he swept both the Spring/Summer and Autumn meets.……Simulcast wagering will be available daily at Betfair Hollywood Park during Del Mar’s 37-day season. Wagering will be offered only in the Hollywood Park Casino Mondays and Tuesdays…Live racing will resume at Betfair Hollywood Park when the Autumn meet begins Thursday, November 8. The season will continue through Sunday, December 16.
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