Thursday, December 12, 2013
Lucayan tops Hollywood Turf Cup
By Jack Shinar
Lucayan gets back on firm ground in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Dec. 14 at Betfair Hollyood Park still seeking his first North American victory following six earlier chances.
The 1 ½-mile Turf Cup, which was a Grade 1 from 1983 until being downgraded last year, is one grass race that has eluded Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale during his career. Lucayan, trained by Drysdale, would appear to have a good chance to fill in that blank against five undistinguished rivals.
The race is the third on a Hollywood program Saturday that includes the CashCall Futurity and the Native Diver Stakes. Post time for the Hollywood Turf Cup is 1:30 p.m. PST.
Lucayan will try to rebound from a ninth-place performance in the Canadian International over a yielding course Oct. 27 at Woodbine. The French-bred son of Turtle Bowl has hit the board in three graded events for Drysdale, including a second behind Obviously in the American Handicap over the Hollywood lawn May 25.
The 4-year-old was an upset winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas) in 2012 and ran well in two starts at longer distances prior to his most recent try in the 1 ½-mile International. The bay colt was second, beaten by half a length by Vagabond Shoes, in the 11-furlong Del Mar Handicap in August. He followed that with a third behind Indy Point in John Henry Turf Championship Sept. 29 at Santa Anita Park.
Joel Rosario will be aboard Lucayan for the first time.
Well-traveled Temeraine, fifth in the International, will be making his initial appearance in California for Niall Racing and trainer Tom Proctor. The 4-year-old Arch gelding has won five of 17 and banked $455,629. Woodbine is one of seven tracks where Temeraine has competed, following Tampa Bay Downs, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Kentucky Downs, and Gulfstream Park.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens teams with Proctor once more with Temeraine, who was victorious in the Kentucky Turf Cup Sept. 14.
Segway tries graded company for the first time in his career for owner/breeders Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. The 4-year-old Giant's Causeway gelding out steps up after winning an optional claimer by 1 ½ lengths Oct. 27 at Santa Anita. Mike Smith picks up the mount from Stevens.
Mandella is seeking his fourth win in the Turf Cup, having won previously with The Hague (1982), Lazy Lode (1999) and Boboman (2006). He would tie Bobby Frankel for most wins in the 31-year-old event.
Artic North returns to California for trainer Peter Miller after finishing sixth in the Red Smith Handicap Nov. 16 at Aqueduct Racetrack. Owned by Wachtel Stable and Leonard Friedman, the 4-year-old North Light gelding won twice in four Southern California starts prior to the Red Smith. Miller taps Joe Talamo for Artic North, who is seeking his first stakes win.
Huntsville, winless in 14 starts in 2013 for Madeline Auerbach and trainer Barry Abrams, will stretch to 12 furlongs for the first time since finishing last in the San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita March 16.
Three-year-old Irish Surf is wheeling back in 13 days for Thor-Bred Stable and breeder Gaineway Farm after pushing the pace and weakening to trail in the Hollywood Derby. The son of Giant's Causeway out of the champion Surfside, trained by Dan Hendricks, will get a weight break with 116 pounds.