Eight Likely for Bayakoa Handicap
Updated: Friday, December 5, 2003 11:20 AM
Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2003 8:18 AM
Edited from track reports
Photo: Mike Corrado
Breeders' Cup Distaff upset winner Adoration is probable favorite for Sunday's Bayakoa Handicap.
Trainer Wally Dollase enjoyed scanning the list of probable entrants for Sunday's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap with Bare Necessities considerably more than the last time he ran the 4-year-old filly here.
That was in the grade I Vanity Handicap in June, where the daunting presence of reigning Horse of the Year Azeri cast a giant shadow over the lineup. Bare Necessities finished a creditable third, the only setback in her last five starts.
With Azeri no longer in training, the main competition for Bare Necessities will come from Adoration, the 121-pound highweight and probable favorite in the grade II test for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park.
Dollase is grateful to have his 4-year-old filly back in training for her first start since winning the Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park in Kentucky on Aug. 9. The victory was her seventh in 16 starts and raised her earnings to $715,281.
"Her owner, George Middleton, who runs under Iron Country Farms, lives in Arcadia, Missouri, and shipped her to his farm after the race," said Dollase Wednesday. "He thought she had done enough and planned to retire her before a breeding to Giant's Causeway next year.
"He apparently changed his mind and contacted me in September after the filly had been there a month," said Dollase. "He decided to put her back in training and try to reach $1-million this year and next."
Dollase said that Rene Douglas, who rode her to victory in the Gardenia, has the call back. "She's doing great," said Dollase. "She's had three straight six-furlong works, the latest Sunday. She's fit as a fiddle."
A field of eight is probable for the Bayakoa: Adoration, Patrick Valenzuela, 121 pounds; Bare Necessities, Douglas, 119; Angel Gift, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 114; Blind Ambition, no rider, 114; Southern Oasis, no rider, 114; Keys To The Heart, no rider, 113; Star Parade, Victor Espinoza, 112, and Sparkling Ava, Martin Pedroza, 111.
Keys to the Heart, winner of the Hawthorne Handicap, worked four furlongs in 49 2/5 Wednesday for trainer Beau Greely.
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