King of Happiness, who lost the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) a month ago by one-half length to Castledale, has been accorded 9-5 favoritism among nine entrants in the $250,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday.
The chestnut 5-year-old, trained by Neil Drysdale for Maktoum al Maktoum, is a narrow choice over 2-1 Fast and Furious, third in the Shoemaker after breaking slowly. King of Happiness, who has a top impost of 120 pounds, won the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) earlier in the Hollywood meeting.
The Irish-bred Whilly, who won the San Marcos (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita lawn earlier this year, also finished second in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I). Starting from the rail, the 4-year-old Whilly, who is trained by Doug O'Neill, comes into the American off a fifth in the Shoemaker.
A field of nine was entered in the American, one of five graded stakes on the Sunday card at Hollywood Park.$250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT), 3 & up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Whilly (IRE), Felipe F. Martinez, 117, 5/1
2. King of Happiness (KY), Patrick A. Valenzuela, 120, 9/5
3. He's Crafty (KY), Rene R. Douglas, 113, 20/1
4. Sigint (FL), Garrett K. Gomez, 112, 30/1
5. Fourty Niners Son (KY), Jerry D. Bailey, 115, 12/1
6. Fast and Furious (FR), Victor Espinoza, 119, 2/1
7. Laura's Lucky Boy (KY), Corey S. Nakatani, 116, 6/1
8. Capitano (PA), Jon K. Court, 115, 15/1
9. Qsar (GER), John R. Velazquez, 112, 15/1