March 4, 2024

Hollywood Turf Cup

Last updated: 12/3/04 6:58 PM


TRACK BANDIT PREVIEWS

HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP S.
(G1), 7TH-HOL, $250,000, 3YO/UP, 1 1/2MT, 3:35 P.M. PST, 12-4
 
PP HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WT
1
BALESTRINI (IRE)

DRYSDALE NEIL

SMITH M E
126
2
PUERTO BANUS

MULHALL KRISTIN

DESORMEAUX K J
126
3
BETTER TALK NOW

MOTION H GRAHAM

DOMINGUEZ R A
126
4
LICENSE TO RUN (BRZ)
FRANKEL ROBERT J GOMEZ G K 126
5
MOSCOW BURNING

CASSIDY JAMES

VALDIVIA J JR
123
6
HABANEROS

BELL THOMAS R II

FLORES D R
126
7
PELLEGRINO (BRZ)

BURKE DONALD J II

STEVENS G L
126
8
MEGAHERTZ (GB)

FRANKEL ROBERT J

DOUGLAS R R
123
9
HATIF (BRZ)

LOBO PAULO H

BAZE T C
126


Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) hero BETTER TALK NOW (Talkin Man) heads a field of
nine entered for Saturday’s 12-furlong Hollywood Turf Cup (G1), but the
five-year-old will be making his first start in California and he’s never strung
together two straight stakes wins. Both of his major victories this year, the
Breeders’ Cup Turf and Sword Dancer Invitational H. (G1), came over yielding
courses, and we’ll try to beat the likely prohibitive favorite.

LICENSE TO RUN (Brz) (Exile King) earned a Group 2 victory when trying the
turf in Brazil three starts back and then won a Group 1 going 1 1/2 grassy
miles. He didn’t fire in his last start as the favorite in May and was
transferred to trainer Bobby Frankel in Southern California. The four-year-old
colt recorded five straight workouts going six panels and tuned up for this
event with a pair of solid five-furlong breezes in the last 11 days. Frankel
excels with these types returning off the shelf and License to Run owns plenty
of room for improvement. We’ll look for the classy Brazilian import to take to
the turf at Hollywood with a winning performance.

Better Talk Now drops in class significantly off the Breeders’ Cup and could
prove difficult to deny. However, we feel the soft turf benefited the bay
gelding and his inconsistent form is a concern. The Graham Motion
trainee could prove impossible to deny once again, but he figures to be an
underlay off a career-best performance that involved a roughly run stretch
drive.

MOSCOW BURNING (Moscow Ballet), one of two distaffers in the field, looks
like the lone speed and could hold for part. The bay filly exits a commendable
fourth-place showing to Ouija Board (GB) (Cape Cross [Ire]) in the Breeders’ Cup
Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and has run well over this course before (3-1-1-0). The
Grade 2 winner owns experience against males, finishing a close third in the Del
Mar H. (G2) three starts back, and looms as a wire-to-wire threat.

MEGAHERTZ (GB) (Pivotal), a five-year-old mare, is another top contender. The
uncoupled Frankel charge loves the Hollywood turf (5-2-1-2) and owns a powerful
finishing kick, earning a 121 BRIS Late Pace rating two starts back. Megahertz
needed her last start off a lengthy layoff and may be ready to challenge with a
top try. The late-running chestnut is also not too dependant on pace, winning
several races off slow early fractions.

BALESTRINI (Ire) (Danehill) comes off two runner-up placings in allowance and
optional claiming events and finished third in a Grade 3 event earlier this
season. The four-year-old owns solid BRIS Speed and Pace figures, so consider for the
exotics. PUERTO BANUS (Supremo) owns a 3-2-1-0 mark over the course, including a
Grade 2 victory, and could possibly factor from off the pace on Saturday. The
Kristin Mulhall trainee hasn’t been particularly sharp in his last two outings,
but this will be his third start off the layoff and he could pick things up
returning to the grass in Inglewood, California.

PELLEGRINO (Brz) (Nugget Point [Ire]) offered a decent late run for second in
his last and likes longer distances. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him
continue to show more, but we’ll just watch for now. It was fortunate for
trainer Thomas Bell that nobody claimed HABANEROS (Tabasco Cat), who is going
well presently, for $25,000 four starts back, but the chestnut gelding will be tested for
class here. HATIF (Brz) (Spend a Buck) could add to the pace, but we’ll go
against from the far outside post position.




TRACK BANDIT SELECTIONS:   1st-LICENSE TO RUN (Brz)
    2nd-BETTER TALK
NOW
    3rd-MOSCOW
BURNING