Quietly Mine Takes Aim in 'Express

Quietly Mine Takes Aim in 'Express
Photo: Michael Burns
Quietly Mine (left) seeks his first graded stakes win in the Turf Express Handicap.
Trainer Christophe Clement hopes to get his Turf Festival weekend off to a good start at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24 when he sends the consistent Quietly Mine against nine rivals in the $150,000 Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT).

The New York-based Clement has had great success in Southern California this year and he is keeping a string at Hollywood Park for the current meet. Among them are Vacare and Naissance Royale, leading contenders in the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) for fillies and mares Nov. 25.

A 3-year-old Belong to Me gelding, Quietly Mine seeks his first graded stakes win and will have Corey Nakatani riding for the first time. Quietly Mine figures to get a good pace to close into and has not been worse than second in five starts this year. The problem is the Kentucky-bred chestnut has won just once, taking a six-furlong optional claiming event on the Belmont Park lawn in June.

Owned by his breeders, Peter Karches and Michael Rankowitz, Quietly Mine comes off a determined second-place showing against older horses in Woodbine's Nearctic (Can-II) on the grass Oct. 21. He closed smartly that day but had one left to beat, losing by three-quarters of a length to Heros Reward.

Grade II winner Fast Parade is the 122-pound high weight in the field of 10 turf sprinters, but the 4-year-old Peter Miller trainee has not been out since finishing a fast fading 10th in the Frank Kilroe Handicap (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita sod in March. The Washington-bred Fast Parade, winner of the 2006 Nearctic, spots his rivals between four to eight pounds. He figures to be part of a hot pace this time.

Trainer David Hofmans entered two in the Turf Express, Council Member and Desert Code.

Council Member, a 5-year-old gelding, recently joined the Hofmans stable after being sent from New York by owners Karen and Mickey Taylor. He finished a distant third in the Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct on a sloppy main track Oct. 27.

The speedy Desert Code won the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track in June, but the 3-year-old E. Dubai colt has not raced since finishing a fading fourth in the Swaps Breeders' Cup (gr. II) over the same course July 14.

Moth Ball finished third in the Turf Express last year for trainer James Cassidy but the 5-year-old British-bred gelding was off for more than nine months afterward. He has been winless in three starts since returning in September, most recently finishing fourth in the Nearctic.

The Bobby Frankel trained Night Chapter, another British bred, was shut off in the final eighth mile of the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's hillside turf course Oct. 27 and finished fifth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths. Night Chapter is owned by new Dodger manager Joe Torre's Diamond Pride Stable and Frankel.

Graham Motion ships T. D. Vance west off a tough-luck head loss in Keeneland's Woodford on the grass Oct. 18. He has won seven of 18 starts for earnings of $504,159.

$150,000 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:35 p.m.), 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Unusual Suspect (CA), 114, Tyler Baze
2. Council Member (KY), 116, Michael C. Baze
3. El Manuel (CHI), 114, David R. Flores
4. Quietly Mine (KY), 116, Corey S. Nakatani
5. Bonfante (CA), 117, Martin Garcia
6. Night Chapter (GB), 118, Brice Blanc
7. Desert Code (KY), 116, Aaron T. Gryder
8. T. D. Vance (KY), 118, Victor Espinoza
9. Moth Ball (GB), 114, Mike E. Smith
10. Fast Parade (WA), 122, Patrick A. Valenzuela

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