Watch the Tote for Clues in Hollywood Turf Cup

The 18th Running of the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup

Friday, November 25, 2022

DMR Race #5 $250.000

3+ 121/124 Lbs 11/2 (Turf)

Course Record-2:24.75 (Clockwork Chai-2017)

Stakes Record-2:23.59 (Bronze Sabre-2011)

#1 Lantern Yard (Avenue Z/F.T. Alvarado 121): Two-time winner this year, but none since a February allowance at GG.  Beaten two lengths three consecutive times at the graded level.  Draw should help him save ground before commencing his rally, but he’ll have to time it right to grab a slice.

#2 Spiral (Mb Stables/Mar. Garcia 124): Took a one-mile G3 back in August before three forays into G1-company saw him come up less than two-lengths short each time.  6yo is as classy as they come and should be somewhat fresh in just his 7th start this year.  Figures to lay close and can still beat these types at his best.

#3 Fire Marshall Bill (Nakamura Stables/J. Crawford 121): Sophomore just missed capturing a G1 last out at this same trip.  Last three efforts have been useful after debuting poorly for the barn in a dirt G3.  Should be able to save some ground, but he’ll need the right pace setup to factor.

#4 Droopy (Aer Stables/J. Lezcano 121): Had a very good year going with three wins and several other ITM finishes, but sophomore has thrown back-to-back head-scratchers.  Seems to be at his best from just off the pace and that trip appears available to him, but he’ll need to find his form from the summer.

#5 Never Met Me (Mb Stables/A. Cedillo 124): 6yo seems to really appreciate these 12-furlong opportunities as it allows him to lope along and show off his lungs.  Both wins came at this trip; however, the last two seem to indicate a bit of form regression.  Figures to be involved from the jump, just not sure how much juice is left.

#6 Strange Magic (TwinTowersRacing/M. Franco 124): 4yo has only made two turf starts with a win and $12.000 in earnings to show for them.  Obviously the others in here have more turf form to go on, but maybe he will appreciate the extra ground he gets here and he is a G3 winner on the main track.

#7 Dreams Of Men (Maxmillion Farm/S.X. Bridgmohan 124): Plucked out of the auction for $41.000 and immediately took consecutive ALW events for the new barn.  Speedball hasn’t fared as well against graded company, but this spot may allow him the chance to set a more measured pace given the trip.  Have to believe 4yo has done some serious farm work.

#8 Speightstown (Nakamura Stables/E. Maldonadon121): Sphomore gelding has taken to the turf with consecutive wins in both tries.  Last one saw him make all going this distance, but this draw is a bit different than the one he had last month.  Hard to fault the turf efforts but the water is deeper here.

#9 Derby G (High Voltage/V. Espinoza 124): 4yo has only made three starts this season, so we know he’s fresh, and his best finish came at MTH at this same trip.  Draw shouldn’t impact his chances too negatively as he’s going to try and settle before producing his best.  Tall task for a horse with only a maiden-breaker to his credit.

#10 Keg Size (Bomberracing/M.E. Smith 124): Re-claimed for $3.200 just three weeks ago, trainer must have had this in mind when he brought him back to the barn.  He did rally strongly to be third for this outfit in a January ’21 effort in a G3.  Lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but have to like the barn’s confidence.

Final Analysis: 2-5-6 in a complete crap-shoot for the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup. Good luck to everyone in this wide open affair. 

Categories: Grade II, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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