After finishing far behind Rachel Alexandra in the Fleur de Lis (gr. II) last month at Churchill Downs, Made for Magic returns to the scene of her most significant win in the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park July 17.
The seven-furlong A Gleam, the fourth race on the program with a 2:32 p.m. PDT probable post, attracted a field of six older fillies and mares. It is on the same program as the $200,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds on the penultimate day of the 2010 spring/summer season at Hollywood.
Trained by A.C. Avila for owners Mike Lamb and L-Bo Racing, Made for Magic, a 5-year-old daughter of Cape Canaveral, won the 1 1/16-mile Milady Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood at odds of nearly 10-1 on May 16.
Claimed for $16,000 by her current connections last August at Golden Gate, Made for Magic has since won four of 15. Overall, her career mark stands at 8-5-7 in 34 races with earnings of $304,404.
Her tally in the Milady, her only graded stakes win, came in stalking style by a half length over Wynning Ride. She shipped to Churchill Downs for the June 12 Fleur de Lis, but she was never involved as Rachel Alexandra ran away from the field. Made for Magic ran last of five, beaten more than 20 lengths.
Made for Magic has just one prior start at seven furlongs, a sixth-place effort in the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Jan. 31. Omar Berrio stays aboard the bay mare, who carries 117 from post 5.
The 122-pound highlight is Free Flying Soul, seeking her third win at Hollywood Park for owner Marsha Naify and trainer Bruce Headley. Free Flying Soul is coming off a 1 1/2-length score as the favorite in the Desert Stormer Handicap at six furlongs June 12. The 5-year-old Quiet American mare also won the Winter Stakes at Hollywood last December.
Free Flying Soul, breaking from post 4 with regular pilot Mike Smith, has a 6-2-4 mark in 15 lifetime starts and leads the field in earnings with $393,177.
Two others in the field last ran in the Desert Stormer. Zayat Stables' Moon de French ran fourth for trainer Bob Baffert, and grade III winner Sweet August Moon, trained by Brian Koriner for Legacy Ranch and Team MacPherson, finished fifth.
Emmy Darling can give trainer John Sadler an unprecedented third straight win in the A Gleam, which will be run for the 56th time. Sadler, who has the prohibitive favorite, Sidney's Candy , running in the Swaps, won the A Gleam the past two years with Dearest Trickski and Evita Argentina.
Owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, Emmy Darling, a 4-year-old Graeme Hall filly, returns to California after finishing off the board in the Winning Colors Stakes (gr. III) May 31 at Churchill Downs.
Purchased as a 2-year-old for $260,000 at the Ocala March Sale in Florida in 2008, Emmy Darling will be aiming for her second stakes win at Hollywood. In her second career start on June 28, 2008, Emmy Darling won the ungraded Landaluce. She is 4-for-18 with earnings of $233,039.
Will O Way, who finished fourth of sixth in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) June 13, will cut back in distance for trainer Vladimir Cerin. Owners Edward Taylor and David and Holly Wilson's 4-year-old daughter of Broken Vow is winless in four races at seven furlongs and has lost seven in a row since capturing the California Oaks in January 2009 at Golden Gate Fields.
$150,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II, Race 4, 2:32 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Will O Way (KY), T Baze, 114, V Cerin
2. Moon de French (FL), M Garcia, 114, B Baffert
3. Emmy Darling (FL), J Rosario, 115, J W Sadler
4. Free Flying Soul (KY), M E Smith, 122, B Headley
5. Made for Magic (KY), O A Berrio, 117, A C Avila
6. Sweet August Moon (PA), V Espinoza, 116, B J Koriner