Muntej To Start in Hollywood Derby
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 11/18/2000 8:13:02 PM
Last Updated: 11/19/2000 8:47:17 PM

Sky Classic Handicap (Can-IIT) winner Muntej will race next in the $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 26 at Hollywood Park. The 1 1/8-mile turf race is also expected to draw River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Brahms and possibly Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner War Chant. In his most recent start, Muntej finished second to Whata Brainstorm in the Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) after finishing fifth in the Virginia Derby.

"He had a real bad trip in the Virginia Derby," said trainer Roger Attfield. "And he could've had a better trip in the Calder Derby, but he still ran a very good race."

Muntej has won three of 10 races after being held winless while racing in England as a 2-year-old.

In other Hollywood Turf Festival news, trainer Todd Pletcher will enter two horses in separate events. Recent Laurel Dash Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Texas Glitter will race in Friday's $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express (gr. IIIT) and Deeliteful Irving will run in Saturday's $200,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT).

Texas Glitter was switched to turf for the first time in September, winning an optional claiming race by three lengths. He then won the William Livingston Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths over Rudirudy and the Laurel Dash, in which he set a course record of 1:08 for six furlongs.

The Laurel Dash was his first graded stakes win since winning the Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) in January 1999. He also finished second in both the Hutcheson (gr. II) and Swale (gr. III) Stakes.

"Things went downhill from there," said Pletcher. "We gave him some time off and brought him back, but he wasn't handling the dirt like he had. We always had turf in the back of our minds for him. Some Glittermans have run well on turf. We made the switch and it looks like he has found a home."

Texas Glitter was supplemented to the 5 1/2-furlong race for $10,000.

Two-year-old Deeliteful Irving will be making his second career start in the one-mile Generous. The son of Afternoon Deelites won his debut race in a one-mile turf race at Belmont Park last month.

"The thing that impressed me most was the way he won," said Pletcher. "He settled off the pace. When they turned for home, he made a big move on the inside of horses like a seasoned veteran."

"He's a colt we've liked all along," Pletcher continued. "Back in the summer he bucked shins, we pin-fired him and gave him some time."

Also supplemented to the Generous were California Juvenile (gr. III) winner Zillah the Hun and Media Mogul.

Aaron Gryder will be aboard Texas Glitter in the Turf Express; no rider plans have been set for Deeliteful Irving.

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