Field of Six Expected for Sunday's Clement L. Hirsch

Despite the near-certain presence of Azeri, perhaps the finest dirt-running filly or mare in the nation, a field of six is likely for Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles on
the main track.

Committed to tackle the Laura de Seroux-trained Azeri, who has won four straight Grade I races this year, are Irguns Angel, Queen of Wilshire, Collect Call and Se Me Acabo, with Adoration a strong possibility.

Azeri will carry high weight of 126 pounds, including regular rider Mike Smith, and gives her foes from 10 to 13 pounds. Irguns Angel and Queen of Wilshire will each carry 116 as the next high weights.

Trainer Alfredo Marquez said this morning that Irguns Angel is "training good.

"The more in the field, the better for me, he said."

Marquez pointed out that Irguns Angel, who comes to the race off three straight wins, has run well against such top fillies as You, Collect Call, Tamara Princess, Cindy's Hero, Golden Ballet and Affluent, but acknowledges they "maybe aren't as good as Azeri, but somebody has to try her."

As to how he expects the daughter of Irgun to run in the race, Marquez said owner Ron Anson gives the orders on strategy. "Jose [Valdivia] knows the filly, so it will up to him."

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