Noble Court, beaten favorite a year ago, will try to make amends in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) Dec. 6 at Hollywood Park.
Trained by John Sadler for Joy Ride Racing, Noble Court will be spotting rivals four to eight pounds as he carries 124 pounds. The Cushion Track event drew a tough field of seven.
Seventh most recently in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, 5-year-old Noble Court will be back on the main track for the six-furlong Underwood. Since rallying to finish third in the 2009 running, he has won two of five starts while placing in a pair of grade I races— a third in the Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park in July and a second in the Pat O’Brien at Del Mar in September. Both times he was beaten by highly-regarded sprinter Zensational.
Overall, Noble Court is 6-3-3 from 18 starts and has earned $431,778. Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones, he is by Doneraile Court—Grey Dawn Grey, by Grindstone. Joel Rosario will ride.
Sadler’s other starter is 5-year-old gelding Machismo
, who has not started since finishing eighth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) in March. Runner-up in the El Conejo Handicap and Sunshine Millions Sprint early this year at Santa Anita Park, he will be making his Hollywood Park debut.
Like Noble Court, Delta Storm
also made his last start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, finishing fourth. Prior to that, the 8-year-old gelding finished third behind Gayego and eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) runner-up Crown of Thorns in the Ancient Title Handicap (gr. I). A winner of 11 of 32 starts, the Mike Mitchell trainee tops the field with earnings of $520,683.
, coming off a sharp allowance score at Santa Anita Oct. 30 at 61-1, will face more experienced stakes horses in his added-money debut in the grade III test at six furlongs, but trainer Carl O’Callaghan believes he has a big chance.
“I know we’re stepping into deep water, but I think he deserves a shot,” said O’Callaghan of the 4-year-old Yankee Victor gelding who has overcome various foot issues. “I worked him on the turf at Del Mar to save his feet and got him straightened out. He’s extremely fast but doesn’t have to be on the lead.”
Talkin to Mom Roo
won a six-furlong allowance race at Hollywood in July before finishing second in the Bing Crosby and fourth in the Pat O’Brien. The 6-year-old has two wins and two seconds in four starts at Hollywood.
Consistent ex-claimer Paul's Hope
aims for his seventh win in 33 starts, while Mr. Cacht
won 10 of 18 starts in Argentina.
The Underwood will run as the eighth of nine races at Hollywood. First post is at 12:30 p.m. PDT.
$100,000 Vernon Underwood (gr. III, Race 8, 4:05 p.m.), 3 and Up, 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Kinsale King (KY), M Garcia, 118, C O'Callaghan
2. Machismo (FL), M E Smith, 116, J W Sadler
3. Delta Storm (KY), R Bejarano, 118, M R Mitchell
4. Noble Court (KY), J Rosario, 124, J W Sadler
5. Paul's Hope (FL), A O Solis, 120, J Hollendorfer
6. Mr. Cacht (ARG), F Valdez, 120, J Mullins
7. Talkin to Mom Roo (TX), J Talamo, 118, T H West