I like Obrigado in today’s closing-day feature at Hollywood Park. He’s sharp, coming in off a 3 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Round Table Handicap here on June 13, he gets the services of leading rider Joel Rosario and he’s trained by Neil Drysdale, who’s quietly having a strong meet. He’s won with 20 percent of his starters after a slow Santa Anita meet.
Of course, if either Porfido or Black Astor inherits an easy lead in the 1 1/2-mile Grade 2 turf event, they could be tough to catch. Porfido, a 7-year-old Chilean-bred son of Mash One, has the most class of the two and would seem to be a bigger threat to wire this field. He’s also two for eight at the distance and David Flores knows him well, having ridden the horse in his past nine outings.
Actually, any of the four runners in this short field can win, but my top two choices are Obrigado and Spring House, who just seem to be better horses at this point than either of the other two.
The last summer shootout at Hollywood Park? Bet against it. That $2 billion price tag on the development project is going to be tough to secure in this economic climate. I’m making plans to be here for opening day next spring.