Balance, perfect in two starts this year and a winner of six of 11 lifetime starts, heads a field of seven fillies and mares in Sunday’s $175,000 Milady Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
Amerman Racing Stables’ 4-year-old bay daughter of Thunder Gulch was an easy 4 1/2-length winner in the La Canada (gr. II) while making her seasonal bow on Feb. 11. She then won the Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I) on March 10 and has trained well for her first start on Cushion Track.
“I don’t see her not getting a hold of it,” trainer David Hofmans said. “She’s trained on it since its inception (last September) and seems to handle it well.”
Balance has handled just about everything in her career, finishing in the money in all but one start -- the 2006 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). She enters the 1 1/16-mile Milady with a race-high $900,159 in earnings.
Victor Espinoza, who has ridden Balance in all but her first lifetime start, has the mount Sunday on the 123-pound high weight.
Hystericalady has won her last two starts, most recently scoring a four-length victory in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs. She won the Hollywood Breeders’ Cup Oaks (gr. II) a year ago at the Milady distance and is 6-for-10 overall for earnings of $403,283. She carries 121 pounds and will be ridden by David Flores.
Canabria, from the Bobby Frankel barn, finished second as the favorite in Hollywood's Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) May 6, also at a 1 1/16 miles. The Great Britain bred has won two of four U.S. starts and three of 14 lifetime for earnings of $155,383.
Memorette, a 5-year-old who has made 13 of her last 14 starts on turf, finished fifth when venturing from that surface last year. She will be making her first start on Hollywood Park’s synthetic surface on Sunday as she seeks her fifth win in her 27th start. She enters the Milady with earnings of $764,753
$175,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II, Race 3, 2:20 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ballado's Thunder (KY), 114, Corey S. Nakatani
2. Cantabria (GB), 115, Richard Migliore
3. Hystericalady (KY), 121, David R. Flores
4. Balance (KY), 123, Victor Espinoza
5. Great Opinions (KY), 112, Jon K. Court
6. Memorette (CA), 115, Brice Blanc
7. Nashoba's Key (CA), 115, Joseph Talamo