Beverly Hills: Turning Top Seeks 4th Straight

Beverly Hills: Turning Top Seeks 4th Straight
Photo: Michael Burns
Princess Haya carries the top weight of 117 pounds in the Beverly Hills.

Tuscan Evening has so dominated the Southern California older female turf division this year with five consecutive graded stakes wins that her absence leaves the $100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIIT) a wide open affair June 26 at Hollywood Park.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who had nominated Tuscan Evening to the Beverly Hills, will instead be represented by Pretty Katherine. Tuscan Evening is likely destined for the July 17 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park as a possible tune-up for the Beverly D. (gr. IT) at Arlington five weeks later.

That leaves Princess Haya as the 117-pound high weight in the Beverly Hills, which drew a field of eight older fillies and mares. The 1 1/4-mile turf event is set for a 4:35 PDT post as the eighth race on the program.

Michael Tabor's Irish-bred Turning Top comes into the Beverly Hills on a three-race win streak at shorter distances for trainer Simon Callaghan, her last two victories coming on the Hollywood Park turf. She has won three of five starts on the grass at Santa Anita and Hollywood this year.

The 4-year-old daughter of Pivotal won the one-mile Redondo Beach Stakes by a head in a game effort in her last start June 5. Turning Top began her career in England, where she won twice, and she leads the field in victories with five from 14 races.

Brice Blanc, who was aboard the dark bay filly in the Redondo Beach, retains the mount. They break from post 2 with 116 pounds.

Her main rivals appear to be Princess Haya, General Consensus, and Pretty Katherine.

Princess Haya's upset win in the the Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine last September makes her the lone graded winner in the field. But since a third-place finish in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) a month later, Eileen H. Hartis' 5-year-old Texas homebred hasn't done much in two West Coast starts for trainer Carl O'Callaghan.

The daughter of Street Cry began her 2010 campaign with a fifth-place effort in the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood May 1. She then finished last of seven, 13 lengths behind Tuscan Evening, in the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) in her last try May 29.

Christian Santiago Reyes takes over on Princess Haya, who will break from post 3. She will race without the blinkers she wore for the Gamely.

Sierra Farm's General Consensus figures to appreciate the return to 10 furlongs and will surely relish not facing Tuscan Evening, who beat her the past three times. General Consensus made a strong bid in the 1 1/4-mile Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) two starts back at Santa Ana, finishing second, one length behind Tuscan Evening. But she failed to show that same late kick when fifth in the nine-furlong Gamely, finishing fifth.

General Consensus, a 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway  , has won four of 17 starts and is looking for her first stakes triumph. Rafael Bejarano rides for trainer Paddy Gallagher, who also saddles the outsider Princess Taylor for the first time in the Beverly Hills.

Pretty Katherine, who races for an ownership group that includes William DeBurgh, John Sikura, and George Todaro, comes off a victory over a strong allowance field May 19. That was her first win in three tries on grass since she has mostly run on synthetic tracks. The 4-year-old Vindication filly has won four of 18 starts in her career. Tyler Baze, who rode Pretty Katherine in her recent win, is aboard once again.

Restless Soul, third in the Santa Barbara in her last start, is one of two entered by Ben Cecil, who also has Lady Francesca. Catsalot, an optional claiming allowance winner last time at Golden Gate Fields, completes the field.

$100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Princess Taylor (GB), J Talamo, 113, P Gallagher
2. Turning Top (IRE), B Blanc, 116, S Callaghan
3. Princess Haya (TX), C Santiago Reyes, 117, C O'Callaghan
4. Pretty Katherine (ON), T Baze, 116, J Hollendorfer
5. General Consensus (KY), R Bejarano, 116, P Gallagher
6. Restless Soul (GB), V Espinoza, 115, B D Cecil
7. Lady Francesca (GB), A Quinonez, 112, B D Cecil
8. Catsalot (CA), J A Garcia, 113, L Powell
Blinkers Off: Princess Haya
 

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