Lava Man was assigned high weight of 124 pounds for Saturday’s $750,000 Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup. Lava Man, who will have regular rider Corey Nakatani in the saddle, will be trying to match Native Diver’s record of three consecutive Gold Cup victories in the mid-1960s. Continue reading →
A week away from the $750,000 Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup, it looks like seven will go postward, including Lava Man, who will seek to match Native Diver’s record of three consecutive Gold Cup victories. Molengao (pictured), trained by the torrid Paulo Lobo, appears to be the main threat. Lobo had won with 10 of 26 starters at the Hollypark meet heading into action Friday night.
Michael Baze, only 20 years old, looks to be ready to join Bill Shoemaker in the Hollywood Park record books as he heads toward the meet riding title. Heading into Wednesday’s card, Baze holds a 52-42 edge over second-place Joe Talamo in the jockey standings.
Trainer Ron Ellis was second in the Hollywood Park trainer standings heading into Wednesday’s action with 11 victories, trailing runaway leader Doug O’Neill by seven wins. But Ellis, a 47-year-old resident of Arcadia, has saddled only 28 horses, meaning he’s winning with an amazing 39 percent of his starters. That’s an incredible rate, considering a 25-percent success rate is considered outstanding.
On May 24 I wrote on this blog that Todd Pletcher should give it a shot and run the filly Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes, and with only six other colts entered, that made the proposition even more enticing. Ironic that Pletcher’s first victory in a Triple Crown race would come with a filly that many said didn’t have a chance against Curlin. Well, not only did she have a chance, but she out-gamed the colt as they raced as a team virtually through the entire stretch.