Defending champion Rail Trip heads a lineup of 15 nominees to the $500,000, 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 10 at Hollywood Park in Southern California.
“He worked an easy six furlongs yesterday (in 1:17.20),” said trainer Ron Ellis July 1 of the 5-year-old gelding. “He will probably work again next Tuesday (July 6).”
Rafael Bejarano has the call back on Rail Trip, who seeks to join three-time winners Native Diver and Lava Man as the only repeat winners in the 71-year history of the prestigious race. Weights will be issued July 4.
Rail Trip won the Hollywood Gold Cup by three lengths last year.
Rail Trip has won eight of 11 starts and earned $967,790 for Mace and Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable.
Other probable starters include Awesome Gem (David Flores), Compari (Mike Smith), Slew's Tiznow (Joe Talamo), Tap It Light (Tyler Baze), and Cigar Man. Also nominated are the Bob Baffert-trained trio of Richard's Kid, Sangaree , and Spurrier; New York-based champion Gio Ponti ; Brushburn; Enriched; Kanan Dume; Tres Borrachos; and Victory Pete.
Tres Borrachos, who finished second in the Gold Cup last year, recently worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 for trainer Beau Greely.