Fourteen sprinters get their shot at grade I glory in an unpredictable renewal of the $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park July 5.
Favoritism in the seven-furlong Cushion Track event could go to the fast-improving Noble Court, who unleashed a dazzling late charge to win the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) last month. The shippers Rebellion, who won the 2008 Ack Ack, and Street Magician, two-for-two on the comeback trail, are also leading contenders.
The 8-year-old Siren Lure, who won the Triple Bend in 2006, is another to watch in the large field.
The Triple Bend is one of two grade I events on the Hollywood program, along with the $700,000 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, which also attracted a full field.
Noble Court, from the John Sadler barn, rallied from 10th in the 7 1/2-furlong Ack Ack June 6, closing five wide to win by a half-length. Rush With Thunder, who was second to Noble Court in the Ack Ack, and third-place Star Nicholas return in the Triple Bend.
Owned by Joy Racing, the 5-year-old son of Doneraile Court has won back-to-back stakes in his two starts this year after being teamed with jockey Joel Rosario, who retains the mount. They'll break from post six with co-high weight of 121 pounds.
Noble Court won the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) as a 3-year-old in his only prior attempt at seven furlongs. The bay horse has won three of four starts since returning from a 13-month absence last October.
Also weighted at 121 is Monterey Jazz, who is entered in the American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf the day before the Triple Bend. Trained by Craig Dollase for A&R Stables and Class Racing Stable, Monterey Jazz set a one-mile Hollywood turf mark of 1:32.59 in winning his last start May 24. But the 4-year-old son of Thunderello is more than comfortable on a synthetic track, having won the Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita in February 2008. Tyler Baze is to ride.
Though he's been based at Keeneland, Rebellion is no stranger to Southern California, where he made six consecutive starts last year for trainer Graham Motion. The British-bred 6-year-old son of Mozart is on a seven-race losing streak, however, since his impressive win in the '08 Ack Ack. He ran fifth as the 9-10 favorite in the Vigil Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine in his last start May 18.
Michael Trombetta trains R. Larry Johnson's homebred Street Magician, who comes off a stakes triumph at Presque Isle Downs June 7 for his second win since returning from more than a nine-month layoff. The 5-year-old Street Cry horse won the Hirsch Jacobs (gr. III) at Pimlico in 2007. He has five victories in nine lifetime starts.
Siren Lure, a close fourth in the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) May 16, is a 15-time winner in 37 starts with $994,244 in lifetime earnings. He had a three-race win streak ended earlier this year with a fifth-place finish in the San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT) on the turf. Siren Lure gave trainer Art Sherman his first grade I win in the '06 Triple Bend.
Bamaha Breeze captured the restricted El Segundo on Hollywood's grass May 21 and has won six of eight starts overall, never finishing out of the money. The Northern California-based 4-year-old Lord Carson colt will be making his first try in graded company for trainer Steve Miyadi.
$300,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I, Race 10, 5:30 p.m.), 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Street Magician (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, M J Trombetta
2. Bamaha Breeze (CA), A O Solis, 115, S Miyadi
3. Siren Lure (KY), F T Alvarado, 118, A Sherman
4. Liquidity (KY), C S Nakatani, 113, D F O'Neill
5. Rebellion (GB), R Bejarano, 118, H G Motion
6. Noble Court (KY), J Rosario, 121, J W Sadler
7. Monterey Jazz (KY), T Baze, 121, C Dollase
8. Bet On Victor (KY), M Garcia, 109, V Cerin
9. Zensational (KY), V Espinoza, 111, B Baffert
10. Rush With Thunder (CA), A Quinonez, 113, A C Avila
11. Paul's Hope (FL), G K Gomez, 114. J Hollendorfer
12. Silent Soul (KY), I Puglisi, 114, D E Hofmans
13. Star Nicholas (CA), M C Baze, 115, P Eurton
14. Trumpet Player Jay (KY), A T Gryder, 112, M Glatt