Seven Challenge Adoration in Bayakoa Handicap

Edited from track reports
Adoration, 4 1/2-length winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff six weeks ago, will attempt to validate her 40-1 upset on racing's championship day in Sunday's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Unlike Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up Sharp Cat in the 1997 Bayakoa, Adoration seems to have struck little fear in her opposition with seven fillies and mares set to challenge in the 22nd running of the grade II event at 1 1/16 miles. Sharp Cat's Bayakoa resulted in the only walkover in Hollywood Park history.

Adoration, who drew post position No. 7, will carry high weight of 121 pounds and her Breeders' Cup companion Patrick Valenzuela as the probable solid favorite over a racetrack she seems to adore. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Honor Grades was victorious in her only two previous Hollywood Park starts: last year's grade II Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks and grade III Senorita, the latter on turf.

The complete field for the Bayakoa, with jockeys and weights in post position order:
1--Summer Wind Dancer, Ryan Fogelsonger, 112
2--Angel Gift, Jose Valdivia Jr., 114
3--Southern Oasis, Tyler Baze, 114
4--Star Parade, Victor Espinoza, 112
5--Keys To The Heart, Julie Krone, 113
6--Sparkling Ava, Martin Pedroza, 111
7--Adoration, Patrick Valenzuela, 121
8--Bare Necessities, Rene Douglas, 119.

A 4-year-old bay filly trained by David Hofmans for Amerman Racing Stables, Adoration has earned $1,413,856 from five wins in 14 lifetime starts. Her wire-to-wire victory in the Distaff was worth $1,040,000. Angel Gift and Star Parade seem most likely to try to pressure her on the front end Sunday.

Second high weight under the handicap conditions is Bare Necessities, coming off a 5 1/4-length win in the grade III, $200,000 Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park. The 4-year-old gray filly has won four of her last five starts. The defeat was administered by reigning Horse of the Year Azeri in Hollywood Park's grade I Vanity Handicap on June 21. Bare Necessities finished third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Azeri.

Trainer Wally Dollase has acquired the riding services of Eastern-based Rene Douglas to handle Bare Necessities. Douglas is two-for-two aboard the Iron Country Farms filly who has banked $715,281 from seven wins in 16 starts.

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