Hollywood Opens Season With Wilshire H.
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 4/20/2008 7:31:42 PM
Last Updated: 4/23/2008 11:32:10 AM

Trainer Neil Drysdale sends out Brazilian-bred Colina Verde in the Wilshire Handicap on Hollywood opening day.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Colina Verde, winner of the Brazilian Oaks (Brz-I) two years ago, will attempt to win for the second time in three U.S. starts in the $100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf as Hollywood Park opens its 70th anniversary spring/summer meeting April 23.

Trainer Neil Drysdale scratched the 5-year-old Brazilian-bred mare from Santa Anita's 10-furlong Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) April 19 in favor of the one-mile Wilshire. Ten fillies and mares were entered, with the Great Britain-bred Diamond Diva assigned top weight of 117 pounds.

Colina, assigned 116, won her U.S. debut at the Wilshire distance of one mile in February, then finished out of the money when she faded to seventh in the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles in March.

Drysdale has given the call on Colina Verde to jockey Joel Rosario for the first time in the Wilshire.

Colina Verde, unraced at 4, won her final four starts in Brazil as a 3-year-old and enters the Wilshire with five wins in her last six starts. She is five-of-nine overall for earnings of $100,112.

Kris’ Sis, a winner of four of 14 starts and $266,755, has faced grade II company in her last three starts for trainer Richard Baltas, finishing third in September in the Palomar Handicap at Del Mar, third in the Buena Vista in February at Santa Anita and fifth in the Santa Ana.

Diamond Diva, breaking from the far outside post with David Flores aboard, will try to make it back-to-back wins since arriving in North America. Trainer Jim Cassidy sent out the 4-year-old Great Britain-bred to win the one-mile American Beauty Handicap on turf in her U.S. bow on March 30 at Santa Anita. She is 4-4-2 in 13 overall starts for earnings of $181,323.

Trainer Kathy Walsh is hoping for a cleaner trip for Irish-bred Shermeen, who was steadied while finishing eighth just 10 days ago in the trouble-marred Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's hillside turf course. The 5-year-old mare also had trouble while finishing fourth in the Buena Vista.

Bejarano and trainer Bobby Frankel will attempt to connect with lightly-raced Gentle Gale, making her stakes debut. The 4-year-old daughter of Storm Cat has won one of three starts and will be running around two turns for the first time.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will be represented by Unspoken Word in the Wilshire. She won the one-mile Hillsboro Handicap at Bay Meadows while making her last start on March 29.

Star of Whitney arrives at Hollywood Park fresh from an allowance win at Turf Paradise, Macadamia finished sixth in the Las Cienegas, and La Tee steps up following a win in an optional claiming race on April 3.

$100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 4:20 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Shermeen (IRE), 114, Brice Blanc
2. Honored Gold (FL), 113, Tyler Baze
3. Colina Verde (BRZ), 116, Joel Rosario
4. Kris' Sis (KY), 115, Michael C. Baze
5. La Tee (WA), 114, Martin Garcia
6. Gentle Gale (KY),     112, Rafael Bejarano
7. Star of Whitney (KY), 114, Jon K. Court
8. Unspoken Word (KY), 114, Mike E. Smith
9. Macadamia (KY), 113, Joseph Talamo
10. Diamond Diva (GB), 117, David R. Flores


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