Trainer Doug O'Neill is anxious to see a return to form from Thirtyfirststreet, who heads a field of seven 3-year-olds entered for the $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes on opening weekend at Hollywood Park April 23.
The 1 1/8-mile Snow Chief is the richest event for state-bred horses known as the California Gold Rush, which includes eight stakes this year (including one split division) worth a combined $845,000 in purses. There were 88 horse entered in this year's Gold Rush. The Snow Chief is the ninth race on the program with a 5:05 p.m. PDT post.
O’Neill, who won last year's spring/summer meet title at Hollywood, also entered Quick Enough and Scofield Barracks in the $125,000 Tiznow at 7 1/2 furlongs and Dani Reese in the $125,000 B. Thoughtful for fillies and mares at 7 1/2 furlongs.
Thirtyfirststreet broke his maiden over Hollywood's Cushion Track in his second start last November and followed that with a half-length victory in the seven-furlong California Breeders’ Champion Stakes Dec. 26 on dirt at Santa Anita.
The son of Good Journey subsequently finished fourth in the Robert Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita and ran a dismal ninth, beaten by 20 lengths, in the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) over Polytrack at Turfway Park in Kentucky in his last start March 26.
O’Neill, who named the colt after the street on which he lives in Santa Monica, noted, “He didn’t care for the track (at Turfway). He’s had a couple of good works since he came back.”
Thirtyfirststreet is co-owned by Mark Gorman, who bred the colt in partnership with O’Neill and owns him in partnership with Neil Haymes and Sterling Stables. The bay will get blinkers for the first time in the Snow Chief.
O’Neill won the Snow Chief in 2008 with Harlene. Thirtyfirststreet, to be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, has won two of five starts while earning $110,400.
Trainer Marty Jones will also be looking for his second Snow Chief victory following Compari in 2009. He will be represented by Drink At Buster's in this year’s renewal.
Owned by breeder Meadowbrook Farms, Drink At Buster’s is a son of Crafty C. T. who has won two of five starts. This will be his first start beyond seven furlongs on the main track as well as his stakes debut. The chestnut earned his maiden victory at Hollywood, winning his debut at 4 1/2 furlongs 11 months ago for former trainer David La Croix.
Chiloquin, owned by co-breeder Carl Asadurian and trainer Scott Hansen, will be looking to remain perfect in his third start in state-bred company. The gelded son of Tribal Rule and the Desert Mirage mare Zzyzzx Road has won three of eight and also makes his stakes bow.
Nahem, a homebred owned by John Harris and Michael and Cory Wellman and trained by Paddy Gallagher, will try Cushion Track for the first time since he finished seventh in his debut last Nov. 20. The son of Bertrando raced on turf twice during the Santa Anita meet, breaking his maiden by a nose and missing against optional claiming allowance company by a head, both at one mile.
Burns is another going turf to main track and is coming off a 1 1/4-length victory over a first-level state-bred allowance group. The Unusual Heat gelding has won two of six for owner-breeder Madeline Auerbach and Sonny Pais and trainer Barry Abrams. Burns has never started at Hollywood Park.
Fresh off two stakes wins during the Santa Anita season, Amazombie tops a field of 12 in the Tiznow.
Trained by Bill Spawr, who co-owns the 5-year-old with Thomas Sanford, Amazombie won the Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 29, then took the Potrero Grande (gr. II) April 3. Sandwiched between those victories was a half-length defeat to the O'Neill-trained Quick Enough in the Sensational Star Handicap Feb. 27.
A gelded son of Northern Afleet, Amazombie has won seven of 17 and has a bankroll of $418,708.
Quick Enough, owned by Michael Bello, Russell Sarno and Pablo Suarez, returns to California after finishing eighth in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-IIT) March 26 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.
Claimed by his current connections for $40,000 last Aug. 5 at Del Mar, the 7-year-old High Brite gelding has since won two of seven, including the grassy Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) Oct. 11.
Ten are entered in the $125,000 Melair for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, including six last-out winners (Burton's Angel, Emily Pearl, Miles Rules, Screaming Regal, Shezabigbroad and Warren's Flyer).
Looking for his fourth win in a row in the race, Rafael Bejarano has the call on Screaming Regal, who defeated maidens by 2 1/4 lengths as the 7-5 favorite April 3 at Santa Anita. The Old Topper filly is owned by breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and trained by Eric Kruljac.
Ultra Blend, who won the California Cup Matron Oct. 30 during the Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet, headlines the B. Thoughtful. Trained by Art Sherman for owner Nels Erickson, the 5-year-old Richly Blended mare has won eight of 19 with earnings of $460,646.
Her opposition includes nine-time winner Lady Railrider, Excellent News, who won the Warren’s Thoroughbred Stakes on the 2010 Gold Rush card, and Dani Reese, who debuts for O’Neill after being claimed for $40,000 March 25.
The other Gold Rush stakes are the $60,000 Alphabet Kisses for maiden fillies and mares at six furlongs , the $70,000 Grey Memo for 3-year-olds & up at seven furlongs, the $70,000 Warren’s Thoroughbreds for fillies and mares at seven furlongs, and the $60,000 NTRA for maiden colts and geldings, which was divided.
$150,000 Snow Chief Stakes (Race 9, 5:05 p.m.), 3-Year-old California breds, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Drink At Buster's (CA), R Bejarano, 116, M F Jones
2. Chiloquin (CA), M A Pedroza, 116, S Hansen
3. Thirtyfirststreet (CA), J Rosario, 120, D F O'Neill
4. Woodmans Luck (CA), D R Flores, 116, M Puype
5. Burns (CA), C Sutherland, 118, B Abrams
6. Offlee Wild Boys (CA), J Talamo, 118, S Miyadi
7. Nahem (CA), V Espinoza, 116, P Gallagher
Blinkers On: Thirtyfirststreet