Charm the Giant, winner of the Hillsboro Handicap at Bay Meadows in her last start, heads a field of 10 fillies and mares as Hollywood Park opens its 68th spring/summer meet on Wednesday with the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at one mile on the Lakeside Turf Course.
Charm the Giant, a 5-year-old Irish-bred mare trained by Ron McAnally for his wife Deborah, will be ridden by Michael Baze. She breaks from the nine-post in search of her sixth victory in 13 starts.
Double Trouble, a Brazilian-bred making her North American debut in the Wilshire, won her final three races in her homeland and is now in the barn of trainer Bobby Frankel, who also saddles Witch Woman. Frankel sent out Toussaud, Skimble, and Possibly Perfect to successive Wilshire victories from 1993-95 and has saddled a record four winners overall.
French-bred Flip Flop, one of two horses from the Ben Cecil barn, finished third in the 2006 Wilshire. Her stablemate, Ghurra, scored an allowance win at one mile on turf at Santa Anita before finishing fifth in the American Beauty Handicap.
Private Banking, a second horse from the McAnally barn, won back-to back allowance races on turf last year and finished fifth in the Hillsboro while making her 2007 debut.
New Zealand-bred Quemar won the American Beauty Handicap at one mile in her last start and is two-for-four in 2007. French-bred Polyfirst has yet to win while registering four second-place finishes at one mile. Irish-bred Sohgol moves to the barn of Neil Drysdale with three wins in 16 starts, and Great Britain-bred Singalong has finished in the money in three of her last four starts — all in stakes company.
$100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 4:20 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 MIle (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight Jockey
1. Double Trouble (BRZ), 115, Joseph Talamo
2. Ghurra (KY), 114, Victor Espinoza
3. Flip Flop (FR), 116, Brice Blanc
4. Witch Woman (FL), 114, Mike E. Smith
5. Quemar (NZ), 117, Jon K. Court
6. Polyfirst (FR), 115, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
7. Sohgol (IRE), 114, David R. Flores
8. Private Banking (FR), 115, Aaron T. Gryder
9. Charm the Giant (IRE), 117, Michael C. Baze
10. Singalong (GB), 117, Richard Migliore