Hollywood Derby (G1) — Race 9 (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Richard Mandella-trained Subconscious is among the three-year-olds entering Saturday’s $400,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar on a hot streak. The son of Tapit, who broke his maiden over the course only on Aug. 21, has added two wins since, including a strong 1 1/2-length decision in the Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita last month.
Public Sector will look to give trainer Chad Brown his fourth win in the last six runnings of the Hollywood Derby, a nine-furlong heat on the turf. A son of Kingman who’s only bad run in nine outings was in last year’s Breeders’ Cup, Public Sector enters on a three-race graded win streak, the most recent being a neck decision in the Oct. 23 Hill Prince (G3) at Belmont Park. Brown also sends Sifting Sands, a stakes winner at Saratoga who finished a dull seventh in the Hill Prince.
Two other shippers from the east will bear watching. Camp Hope has come on strong of late for Kenny McPeek, including a decisive score over soft ground in the Bryan Station S. at Keeneland. The late-developing Godolphin homebred Santin has won both starts to date and is positively hiked in class by trainer Brendan Walsh.
The Derby field also includes local division mainstays Cathkin Peak, Beyond Brilliant, and Zoffarelli.
The Brown-trained Sacred Life is the likely favorite to land the $250,000 Seabiscuit H. (G2), a 1 1/16-mile grass test for older horses he lost by a mere half-length a year ago. Sacred Life’s rivals include Field Pass, who he beat by a head in the Knickerbocker (G3) last time, and the Brown-trained Flop Shot, a Group 3 veteran who was second in a pair of allowances at the Belmont fall meet.
The $100,000 Jimmy Durante S. (G3), a one-mile grass fixture for juvenile fillies, includes the Phil D’Amato-trained pair of Helens Well and Virulente; the Graham Motion-trained Sparkle Blue, a local allowance winner; and viable contenders from the barns of Doug O’Neill and Peter Miller.