Yes, things have certainly changed for the 4-year-old daughter of Orientate , a bargain $37,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland in September 2005. Owned by Tom Grether Farms, Inc., Intangaroo is the 122-pound co-high weight in a field of 11 fillies and mares contesting the seven-furlong event on Hollywood's Cushion Track.
Intangaroo broke her maiden at Hollywood at first outing a year ago on June 30 just before the death of owner C. Tom Grether. Grether’s son, Carl, has kept the stable going in his father’s name. The dark bay filly returned at the end of the 2007 season, finishing third and fourth in a couple of allowance tries.
Her career, however, took a big turn for the better when the Southern California racing scene switched to Santa Anita. She won an allowance race in January, then came back three weeks later to capture the seven-furlong Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) as a 26-1 surprise, making a bold move along the inside to nip Society Hostess by a nose in an outstanding time of 1:20.71.
After a third-place finish, a half-length behind A Gleam rival Tiz Elemental in the Las Flores Handicap (gr. III), Sherlock shipped Intangaroo to Churchill Downs. Sent off at odds of 14-1, she rallied to get up in time by a head over Baroness Thatcher in the seven-furlong Humana Distaff (gr. I) on Kentucky Derby day.
“She should get a little more respect this time,” noted Sherlock June 25. “We’re not going to change her style. She will be coming from behind.”
The Humana Distaff, her last race, boosted Intangaroo's career earnings to $464,231 with four victories in 11 starts. Alonso Quinonez, who took over as the regular jockey this year, has the mount once again. They will break from post 9.
The A Gleam comes up especially tough this year, with not only Tiz Elemental (the co-high weight), but also grade I winners Romance Is Diane and Dearest Trickski and the undefeated Magnificience.
In her only start since winning the Las Flores April 6, Tiz Elemental had a four-race winning streak ended when she was overhauled late by A Gleam contender Spenditallbaby in a California-bred stakes at Hollywood Park April 27. The 4-year-old Cee's Tizzy filly has had plenty of time to freshen up for trainer Carla Gaines and owner Warren B. Williamson and she brings a record of five wins in eight starts and earnings of $423,260 into the race.
Winner of the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) as a 2-year-old in 2006, Romance Is Diane won the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) as well over the Cushion Track to wrap up her 2007 campaign for trainer Mike Mitchell. She shortens up here after back-to-back losses to the standout Zenyatta, the most recent a fourth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Milady Handicap (gr. II) May 31.
John Sadler enters both Dearest Trickski and Dawn After Dawn. The front-running Dearest Trickski, winner of the La Brea (gr. I) at Santa Anita in December, had won eight of nine starts before her fourth-place showing in the May 17 Desert Stormer, her most recent effort in which she weakened late to finish six lengths behind A Gleam entrant Ashley's Kitty. The Tom Mankiewicz-owned Florida bred has nine wins in 14 lifetime starts.
The grade II winner Dawn After Dawn comes off a third-place finish in the Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) May 4.
The 4-year-old Magnificience was off for more than 13 months after beginning her career with back-to-back victories, including a five-length romp in the Santa Paula (gr. III) in April 2007. The Bruce Headley charge returned May 18 with a hard-fought nose win in a second-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs over the Cushion Track.
$150,000 A Gleam Invitational Handicap (gr. II, Race 9, 4 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Petite Cherie (IRE), 114, Martin Garcia
2. Ashley's Kitty (KY), 116, Joseph Talamo
3. Political Web (KY), 115, Martin A. Pedroza
4. Dawn After Dawn (FL), 116, Garrett K. Gomez
5. Romance Is Diane (CA), 116, Rafael Bejarano
6. Tiz Elemental (CA), 122, Victor Espinoza
7. Missvinski (KY), 116, Alex O. Solis
8. Spenditallbaby (CA), 116, Joel Rosario
9. Intangaroo (KY), 122, Alonso Quinonez
10. Magnificience (KY), 118, David R. Flores
11. Dearest Trickski (FL), 118, Mike E. Smith