Hollywood Park’s three-day Turf Festival, which includes five graded grass races for purses totaling $1.1 million, kicks off today with the $300,000 Grade 1 Citation Handicap at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and up.
I like Cowboy Cal, who’s got the ability to dictate the pace if they go too slow up front or sit second or third and pounce in the stretch if the early fractions are too quick. Rafael Bejarano will be able to pick his poison.
Other contenders include Fluke, Proudinsky, Blue Chagall, Ever a Friend and Monzante, although I am afraid of an Ever a Friend bounce off his big score in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Nov. 5 in his first race in 17 months.
The Turf Festival continues Saturday with the $300,000 Grade 1 Matriarch for older fillies and mares and the $100,000 Grade 3 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds. On Sunday, it’s the $300,000 Grade 1 Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds and the $100,000 Grade 3 Miesque Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
We’ll follow up with our selections for those four races Saturday morning.