The July 5 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park is shaping up to be a wide-open race, as 10 California-based 2-year-olds are all traveling six furlongs for the first time and looking for the first major victory of their careers.
With four starts under their belts and more than $40,000 in earnings each, Conclusive and Seismometer are the most seasoned horses in the field. Conclusive, a California-bred son of Nineeleven, broke his maiden on his second try at Santa Anita April 18, after which he ran second in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes on Hollywood’s Cushion Track surface.
Conclusive will enter the Hollywood Juvenile off a fourth-place effort in the June 22 Lost in the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, a race in which Seismometer finished third. Before that, Seismometer won two consecutive 4 1/2-furlong maiden events at Hollywood and set a new track record in one of them, crossing the wire in :51.45.
Looking to keep his record perfect is Azul Leon, who broke his maiden May 8 at Hollywood. The bay colt has several things working in his favor for the Hollywood Juvenile. First, Azul Leon is by Lion Heart, who ranks fourth on the leading sires of 2-year-olds list. The colt will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who currently leads the jockey standings at Hollywood, and his conditioner, Doug O’Neill, ranks second on the track’s leading trainer list.
The odds also look good for Swiss Alpine and Jack Flash, who are both by Swiss Yodeler, who is one notch above Lion Heart on the list of leading sires of juveniles. Swiss Alpine broke his maiden on his third attempt last time out at Hollywood, while Jack Flash has yet to cross the wire first. He most recently ran fourth behind Conclusive in the Willard L. Proctor.
Rounding out the field is stakes-placed Fassnacht; winners Making Dreams and Turbo Call; and Nochangenweather and Let’spickupthepace.
$100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III, Race 3, 1:00 p.m. PDT), 2-year-olds, six furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Conclusive, 117, Jose Campos
2. Nochangenweather, 115, Corey Nakatani
3. Let’spickupthepace, 115, Garrett Gomez
4. Azul Leon, 117, Rafael Bejarano
5. Fassnacht, 115, Joel Rosario
6. Seismometer, 117, Joseph Talamo
7. Jack Flash, 117, Martin Garcia
8. Making Dreams, 117, Jose Valdivia Jr.
9. Swiss Alpine, 117, Rene Douglas
10. Turbo Call, 117, Julio Garcia