(from Hollywood Park)
Lemon Chiffon, a lightly-raced 6-year-old mare, hopes to spring an upset in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf May 30.
“We’ve had this race in the back of our minds for a couple of weeks,” said trainer Sean McCarthy from his Santa Anita training base after supplementing Lemon Chiffon to the Gamely for $5,000.
McCarthy hopes lightning strikes twice in a week on the Hollywood Park grass. The mare will be ridden by Mike Smith, who won the Memorial Day Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) on longshot supplementary entry Thorn Song.
Lemon Chiffon, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Lemon Drop Kid , has won four of 10 career starts and finished third in the Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) in her last outing at Churchill Downs on May 2.
“She was only beaten a length and a quarter and was third in the Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita last fall too,” said McCarthy. “She’s a pretty nice mare and she’s been doing well. She was nominated to a few races back east but we decided to keep her in her own back yard.”
McCarthy, 46, has been training on his own since 1996 and seeks the biggest win of his career.
“I’ve had (Lemon Chiffon) since the start,” said McCarthy, who noted that the mare did not start until she was 4 because of “minor issues.”
Lemon Chiffon, bred by Marguerite Clifford, began her career for the breeder and her husband, Jack, but was sold privately to Ron Beegle of Arcadia last December.
Lemon Chiffon drew the outside post in a field of 11. “I think we’ve got plenty of time to get into position from there,” said McCarthy.
Visit, who finished fifth as the favorite behind Lemon Chiffon in the Kentucky race, will seek redemption as one of two Gamely entrants trained by Bobby Frankel.
Frankel, who has captured the Gamely a record eight times -- the past two in succession -- can also win the race with Toque de Queda, who breaks from post 3 with Victor Espinoza. Visit leaves from post 6 with Brice Blanc.
Visit was a fast-closing third in the Matriarch (gr. IT) last year in her only previous start on the turf here and was shipped west from New York last week. Frankel won the race with Precious Kitten last year and with Citronnade in 2007.