INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 15, 2011)—Mensa Heat, a four time winner since being claimed April 15, is among seven set to go in the $80,000 On Trust Handicap Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Restricted to California breds at 7 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track, the On Trust is the ninth of 10 races on the 26th and final program of the Autumn meet. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
As part of the closing day celebration, drawings for gift cards and other prizes will be held between races.
Owned by Peter Redekop B.C. Ltd. and trained by Ted H. West, Mensa Heat has been worse than third only once in seven starts since being taken for $25,000. The 5-year-old gelded son of Unusual Heat and the Ole’ mare Chi Chi Nette is 8-for-40 in his career with earnings of $366,258.
He has won twice for his current connections at Hollywood Park, but both of those wins came on turf. This will be the first start for Mensa Heat since he trailed as the 3-2 favorite in the California Cup Sprint Oct. 29 at Santa Anita. Three weeks earlier, Mensa Heat finished third – defeated by three-quarters of a length – by Amazombie in the Grade I Ancient Title. Amazombie followed that performance with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Undefeated in three starts over Cushion Track, Red Defense enters off a turf victory for owner-breeder Harris Farms, Inc. and trainer Carla Gaines. The 4-year-old gelded son of Redattore and the Flying Continental mare Air Defense is 5-for-6 overall with a bankroll of $145,116.
Chiloquin will be seeking his sixth career win for trainer Scott Hansen, who co-owns the gelding with co-breeder Carl Asadurian.
The 3-year-old son of Tribal Rule and the Desert Mirage mare Zzyzzx Road has started 14 times and earned $239,484.
If successful Sunday, Chiloquin would become the first 3-year-old to win the On Trust since Proud Tower Too in 2005.
Trainer John Sadler, who won the 2009 On Trust with Bestdressed, will saddle Scofield Barracks.
Runner-up against $40,000 claimers Dec. 9 after being claimed for $32,000 by owners Gary and Cecil Barber Nov. 13, Scofield Barracks has won five of 27 and has a bankroll of $230,650. He’s a 5-year-old One Man Army gelding out of the Native Regent mare Marrakech Gold.
Legal Separation will seek his second local win of the year for owners Curt and Lila Lanning and trainer Ed Moger, Jr. The 4-year-old Jackpot gelding out of the Storm Bird mare Stormy Diplomat has won four of 23 and earned $172,138. He has lost three in a row since a head victory in a July 14 allowance, his first in seven races over the Hollywood Park main.
Spud Spivens cuts back a bit in distance after defeating open optional claimers as the 8-5 choice at 1 1/16 miles Nov. 19.
Owned by Audrey and Vincent Marchionno and trainer Henry Moreno, the 3-year-old Tizbud gelding out of the Cutlass Reality mare Oceans Reality has won three of 16 and banked $162,134. All of his wins have come in six starts over Cushion Track.
Mark the Bench returns in 11 days after being claimed for $25,000 by owner-trainer Mike Mitchell. The 6-year-old Benchmark horse out of the Summer Squall mare Stormy Stitch has won three of 38 with earnings of $205,151.
In his final start for owner-trainer Joe Brook, Mark the Bench was second at 14-1 going six furlongs on grass. The chestnut is 0-for-11 on synthetic.
From inside out, the field for the 28th On Trust Handicap: Spud Spivens, Garrett Gomez rides, 116 pounds; Red Defense, Joel Rosario, 121; Scofield Barracks, Hector Berrios, 113; Mark the Bench, Martin Garcia, 112; Legal Separation, Victor Espinoza, 116; Mensa Heat, Joe Talamo, 122 and Chiloquin, Martin Pedroza, 118.
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