The Julio Canani-trained Blackdoun is the likely favorite in Sunday $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles, which attracted 13 3-year-olds.
Following the defection of Bobby Frankel's Greek Sun with a reported ankle ailment, the French-bred Blackdoun takes on the favorite's role in a big field of 3-year-old turf horses.
The late-running Blackdoun is coming off a troubled trip in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). Forced to steady when blocked on the turn, he finished seventh, 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner. The gray colt's three previous races in the United States resulted in victories.
Blackdoun's U.S. debut was a win in Del Mar's Oceanside Stakes and was followed by wins in a pair of Grade II events at Del Mar, the La Jolla Handicap and Del Mar Derby. Owned by Naify & Woodside Farms, his overall record is 6-4-2 in 15 outings for earnings of $477,765.
His opposition will include Eastern invader Timo, who will be ridden by John Velazquez, the nation's leading rider in earnings. Racing exclusively on turf, the gray son of El Prado
has a 5-3-1 mark in 10 starts for C. K. Wood Stable and trainer Billy Badgett for a bankroll of $406,823.
Timo will be Badgett's first starter at Hollywood Park. The Turf Festival has proven an lucrative destination for Velazquez, who has won six stakes in ten rides during previous visits.
"Timo got an abscess on his foot, and it took quite a while to heal up," explained Badgett of the roan colt's time off since winning the Kent Breeders' Cup Handicap at Delaware Park on June 26.
"We had this race in the back of our minds for a long time," added Badgett. "He's a very easy horse to train. He gets a lot out of his works and gallops. He's had a regimented series of works and gets a lot out of them. Fitness is not a worry."$500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), 3-year-olds, 1 1/4 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Hendrix, David Flores
2. Big Squeeze, Jon Court
3. Blackdoun, Corey Nakatani
4. Whilly, Felipe Martinez
5. Good Reward, Jerry Bailey
6. Timo, John Velazquez
7. Terroplane, Rene Douglas
8. On the Acorn, Garrett Gomez
9. Fight Club, Tyler Baze
10. Joursanvault, Jose Valdivia Jr.
11. Fast and Furious, Victor Espinoza
12. Laura's Lucky Boy, Gary Stevens
13. Imperialism, Kent Desormeaux
All carry 122 pounds.