Saturday, August 31, 2013
Deep field set for Yellow Ribbon
By Tom LaMarra
Ten fillies and mares have been entered in what appears to be a wide-open edition of the Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar Sept. 2.
The Yellow Ribbon, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, was previously run as the Palomar Handicap. It's the Labor Day feature on an 11-race card; the final program of the Del Mar meet is scheduled for Sept. 4.
Halo Dolly, a 5-year-old California-bred mare by Popular, will carry high weight of 123 pounds for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns the mare in partnership with Daniel and Yolanda Hoefflin, Michael O'Farrell, Charie Robin, George Todaro, and Joseph Schneider, et al. Halo Dolly, winner of the Wilshire Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park earlier this year, won the Solano Beach Handicap in her last start Aug. 18 at Del Mar.
Leading rider Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard for those two stakes victories, has the call again from post 7.
Little Red Feather Racing's Egg Drop, a 4-year-old Florida-bred by Alphabet Soup, hasn't won a stakes but appears to have found a home on the turf. The Mike Mitchell trainer won her grass debut in a six-furlong allowance test at Hollywood Park, and in her next start -- the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes at one mile on the turf at the same track -- finished a good second behind Schiaparelli.
Martin Garcia, who rode Egg Drop in those two grass races, has a return call at 117 pounds from post 5.
Mrs. Paul Shanahan's Royal Empress, a 3-year-old Irish-bred filly by Holy Roman Emperor, will look to make some noise in her second start in the United States. The Patrick Biancone trainee shows only a maiden victory in eight starts in Ireland, but in her U.S. debut Aug. 4 at Del Mar, she finished a closing third in a one-mile allowance race on the turf and had a couple of solid works since that race.
Julien Leparoux is named to again ride Royal Empress, who gets a major break in the weights under the handicap conditions at a light 108 pounds from post 9.