Oberwald, winner of the Haggin Stakes with Victor Espinoza aboard, will get a new rider in Eddie Delahoussaye for Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Juvenlie Championship (gr. III). In his last start on Father's Day, June 16, Oberwald won the Haggin Stakes, the same race his sire, Swiss Yodeler, captured in 1996.
Trainer Mike Harrington and owner Heinz Steinmann, who campaigned Swiss Yodeler, hope the pattern continues in the race for 2-year-olds at six furlongs. Swiss Yodeler won the event in 1:09.60.
"They have similar dispositions," said Harrington when asked to compare the two on Wednesday. "But Swiss Yodeler is a chestnut. Oberwald is brown. They are built differently, too. Oberwald is a taller, lankier horse."
Swiss Yodeler, who was retired to stud in California and stands at Pepper Oaks Farm in Santa Ynez, is the leading freshman sire in the nation with eight winners, seven of which have come at the Hollywood Park summer meet with Harrington and his wife, Patty.
Oberwald, named after a Swiss forest by Swiss native Steinmann, is the valedictorian of that first crop on the strength of his Haggin victory.
"Early on, he wasn't a standout," said Harrington, who has about 20 Swiss Yodeler 2-year-olds in his barn. "He was like a big gawky kid when he came in. The more we trained him, the more impressive he got. He's put on weight and developed."
Oberwald, victorious in two of three starts, is out of the mare Magic Rhythm, leased by Steinmann from Marvin Malmuth.
Harrington believes that Swiss Yodeler's auspicious debut as a sire is only the beginning of a great career. "I think his yearlings look better than his 2-year-olds," said Harrington of the second crop.
Oberwald, who completed works for the Juvenile last Saturday, will be ridden for the first time by Delahoussaye, a three-time Juvenile winner. Victor Espinoza, who rode Oberwald in the Haggin, was committed to ride The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Kafwain, a $720,000 yearling purchase trained by Bob Baffert.
Baffert will enter two impressive maiden winners at this meet, Kafwain and Golden Eagle Farm's Chief Planner, under David Flores.
Another leading threat will be Proctor Memorial Stakes winner Crowned Dancer, Alex Solis up.
Outta Here, a maiden who was a fast-closing second in his debut here July 6, will run with Kent Desormeaux.
Possibles include Pine For Java, Kimon and Banshee King.