My Turk heart is torn between seeing mighty
Lava Man run again or stay retired. The decision was made for me today with his scratch out of the Grade III Native Diver at Hollywood, most likely because of the horrible weather in California. Lava Man was the morning line 2nd favorite and I pray his stem cell treated ankles are up to the stresses, but he has been training very sharp and fast with a 6f 1:12 1/5th two weeks ago. The picture was taken by Matt Brockmeyer and captures the intensity the gelding always had on the track. Anyhow, we have a 5 horse field and we'll see if there is anything we can do with it. Let's Go!
Race 7 Hollywood Park Post Time 6:35 ET; The Native Diver Handicap Grade III; 1 1/8 Miles onfake dirt for 3 YO and Up.
Neko Bay is a Moss owned, Shirreffs trained, Smith ridden 6 YO son of Giant's Causeway. 9 of 11 lifetime in the money with no wins at Hollywood, none at this distance, only 1 on poly and just 1 win in last 6 starts. This is what passes for morning line favorites this time of year in a graded stakes. Semi Game at The Breeders' Cup "Dirt" Mile, and a very consistant run of upper 90/100 even BSF's going back 1 year. Only third start in 2009. Beatable chalk?
The lone three year old is one time Kentucky Derby hopeful, Square Eddie. Training very fast at HOL with a 4f :47 2/5ths and a 6f 1:11 3/5ths over past two weeks. A lack luster turf effort at Breeders' Cup with Dettori up. Gomez up for trainer O'Neill. I like the ML 6-1 odds and if there is any hope of value in this 5 horse field he just may be it.
Mast Track gets a slight edge from me over Tres Borrachos but not by much. 0 for 6 in 2009 and hasn't won since June 2008 and no wins at this distance. This 5 YO Frankel bred Stronach Stables runner use to be the perfect foil to Well Armed and Go Between and needs a good effort today to stay in the conversation as competitive. Don't count him out and is capable of running as fast as anyone here.
Tres Borrachos is only 3 of 21 lifetime, 2 of past 17, but 5 of 7 In the Money at Hollywood. 4 YO Gelding ran a strong Place to Rail Trip in Hollywood Gold Cup beating Life is Sweet. Which horse shows up today? At 4-1 to start, look to see if he slips.
Have Fun, Turk Out!