Grade II winner Treat Gently can become just the second female in 28 renewals to win the Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) on the turf course at Hollywood Park Nov. 13.
Trained by Bill Mott, Juddmonte Farms' 5-year-old homebred mare appears to be a standout as she prepares to face seven older males in the $250,000 event at 12 furlongs. She could become the first female to win the event since Miss Alleged in 1991.
Patrick Valenzuela gets the call on Treat Gently, who packs 123 pounds, three fewer than her rivals.
“It’s a grade I, and we wanted to give her an opportunity there,” said Mott, who won the Turf Cup in 1993 with Fraise for owner Madeleine Paulson. “A mile and a half is her trip.”
Treat Gently will also be attempting to give Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation consecutive victories in the Turf Cup. Juddmonte won in 2008 with Champs Elysees, trained by Bobby Frankel, and also in 1984 with the John Gosden-conditioned Alphabatim. The race was not contested in 2009.
She comes off a fourth-place finish against males in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at 12 furlongs on a yielding Belmont Park course Oct. 2. Three-wide on both turns, she weakened late and was beaten by 2 ¾ lengths, finishing behind the strong trio of Winchester, Paddy O'Prado and Grassy.
Treat Gently began her career in France with Andre Fabre and won the Prix de Mallaret (Fr-II) at Saint-Cloud in 2008. She was shipped to the United States in 2009 and started twice for Frankel before his death last November.
The English-bred daughter of Cape Cross has been with Mott all year. She won the Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont in May and the Robert G. Dick Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park two months later.
Treat Gently, who has won five of 16 in her career with earnings of $529,695, drew post 2 for the Turf Cup. It is the eighth race on the program at 4:05 p.m. PST.
Where's the Remote will try to become the first California-bred winner of the Turf Cup since Prince Spellbound took the second division in 1982. Owned by Greg Unruh and trained by Mike Mitchell, the gray 5-year-old Unbridled gelding ran second to Champ Pegasus in the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT) Oct. 3 and returned 18 days later to run third of four in an off-the-turf allowance event.
Mike Smith retains the mount on Where's the Remote, a two-time winner in three tries on turf.
Neil Drysdale will be looking for his initial victory in the Turf Cup when he saddles Marlang. The 5-year-old Langfuhr horse won the Sunset Handicap (gr. IIIT) in July over the Hollywood Park grass at the Turf Cup distance. The Canadian bred, owned by his breeder Gustav Schickedanz, ran fourth in Hirsch Memorial after setting the pace. The free-running Marlang has five wins in 17 attempts and earnings of $575,712.
Temple City is returning to turf for trainer Carla Gaines after three consecutive main track efforts at Del Mar and Hawthorne. The 5-year-old son of Dynaformer won the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 30 over Del Mar's Polytrack, then followed with two subpar efforts in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 28 and Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) on dirt Oct. 2
In his most recent race on the Hollywood Park grass, Temple City was second, a head behind Global Hunter in the American Handicap (gr. IIT) July 4.
Ron McAnally, winner of the Turf Cup in 1983 with John Henry, will send out Buenos Dias. An Irish bred owned by Charles Cella, the 5-year-old Peinte Celebre horse ran second in the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 29 but has won just three of 22 starts in his career.
Unusual Suspect, in the midst of a 16-race losing streak for a partnership that includes trainer Barry Abrams, his wife Dyan and brother David, ran second in the California Cup Classic two weeks ago. The 6-year-old Unusual Heat horse hasn’t won since taking the Cougar II Handicap Aug. 5, 2009 at Del Mar.
Worth Repeating will try to give trainer Richard Mandella his fourth Turf Cup victory and his first since Boboman in 2006. The 4-year-old Giant's Causeway colt is yet to win a stakes for Spendthrift Farm.
Mandella’s other Turf Cup successes came with The Hague (1982) and Lazy Lode (1999).
Big Shot Syd, coming off an off-the-turf optional claiming allowance win Oct. 21, is making his first stakes appearance for Budget Stable and trainer Janet Armstrong.
$250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT, Race 8, 4:05 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Worth Repeating (KY), R Bejarano, 126, R E Mandella
2. Treat Gently (GB), P A Valenzuela, 123, W I Mott
3. Unusual Suspect (CA), C S Nakatani, 126, B Abrams
4. Buenos Dias (IRE), B Blanc, 126, R L McAnally
5. Where's the Remote (CA), M E Smith, 126, M R Mitchell
6. Marlang (ON), J Rosario, 126, N D Drysdale
7. Temple City (KY), J Talamo, 126, C Gaines
8. Big Shot Syd (KY), D R Flores, 126, J Armstrong