Olmodavor, who won the Native Diver Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park in December, returns to that racetrack Saturday for Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II).
Richard Mandella trains Olmodavor, who is a homebred racing for Wertheimer Farm. The 5-year-old horse is the son of two grade I winners, A.P. Indy
and Corrazona. The latter also raced for the Wertheimers and Mandella.
Olmodavor finished fourth in this last outing, the grade I Santa Anita Handicap. That was his first try going 10 furlongs. For the Mervyn LeRoy he is scaling back to 1 1/16 miles. He won the Whirlaway Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds at that distance in February.
The Mervyn LeRoy is the first leg in the series at this meet for handicap horses on the main track. It will be followed by the $250,000 Californian Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles on June 12 and the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles on July 10.
Olmodavor has posted a long series of good works at Santa Anita during the past month and is scheduled to ship across town later this week. He is the highweight in the field, giving between four and eight pounds to each of his seven rivals.
The $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy is Hollywood Park's ninth race on Saturday.
The full field for the grade II race with jockey (weight) and trainer:
1--Gift of the Eagle, Pat Valenzuela (114), John Shirreffs
2--The Eden, Javier Santiago (113), Jeff Mullins
3--Olmodavor, Alex Solis (121), Richard Mandella
4--Even the Score, David Flores (116), Vladimir Cerin
5--Star Cross, Victor Espinoza (113), Darrell Vienna
6--Ender's Shadow, Mick Ruis (113), Jenine Sahadi
7--Buckland Manor, Corey Nakatani (116), Paco Gonzalez
8--Total Impact, Mike Smith (116), Laura de Seroux