Trainer Bob Baffert entered a trio led by Euroears in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes Nov. 26, a race that has also attracted grade I winner Comma to the Top, returning from an extended layoff.
Comma to the Top was Hollywood's horse of the meet in the the 2010 fall/winter stand after winning the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) on turf and the Real Quiet Stakes and CashCall Futurity (gr. I) on Cushion Track.
Runner-up in this year's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), the Florida-bred son of Bwana Charlie has not been to the post for trainer Peter Miller since chipping an ankle after finishing last in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 7.
Miller is pointing Comma to the Top to the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day of the Santa Anita winter meet Dec. 26.
Owned by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Kevin Tsujihara, Comma to the Top has won six of 14 and earned $778,600. He blew out three furlongs in :36 3/5 Nov. 23 for the Underwood, in which he drew post 6. Garrett Gomez draws the riding assignment.
Baffert, who hasn't won the Underwood since 1992 with Gundaghia, accounts for a third of the nine entrants in the six-furlong Cushion Track test. The race is the sixth on a program also highlighted by the $250,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) on grass. The Underwood is scheduled for a 3:05 p.m. PST post.
This is scheduled to be the second-to-last start for Euroears, who won the Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) on Polytrack at Del Mar this summer and began the year with a victory in the Palos Verdes Stakes (gr. II). The 7-year-old son of Langfuhr will try to rebound after two subpar performances in grade I races.
Owned by James and Marilyn Helzer, Euroears was last of eight in the Vosburgh Oct. 1 at Belmont Park, then was again the trailer in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
A winner of 10 of 21 with earnings of $1,043,894, Euroears will be making his Hollywood Park debut.
Kaleem Shah's Irrefutable trailed in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, less than a month after finishing second in the six-furlong Ancient Title (gr. I) at Santa Anita for Baffert.
Successful in four of 12 starts with four other seconds and a bankroll of $266,980, the 5-year-old gray son of Unbridled's Song has been second in his two races over Cushion Track.
Baffert also entered Quiet Invader, a decisive winner after a layoff of more than 17 months Oct. 30 at Santa Anita when he defeated an optional claiming allowance field by 2 1/4 lengths. Owned by the Lanni Family Trust and Bernie Schiappa, the 4-year-old Songandaprayer colt finished third in the Chick Lang Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico in his prior race in May 2010.
M One Rifle is back with open company after finishing third in the Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint Oct. 29 at Santa Anita. Owned by breeders Ed Bernstein, Bryan Greenspun, Irwin Molasky, and trainer Bruce Headley, the 5-year-old gelded son of One Man Army has won five of 16 while earning $503,302.
The most recent Hollywood win for M One Rifle was a record-setting victory in the Cool Frenchy Stakes May 11. The dark bay covered the five furlongs in a Cushion Track time of 55.98 seconds.
Trainer Mike Mitchell sends out a pair in Carbonite and Pacific Ocean. A winner twice in five starts since being claimed for $32,000 May 6, Carbonite will be seeking the first graded win of his career. Pacific Ocean is a 4-year-old Ghostzapper gelding recently purchased privately by JMJ Racing Stables. He has won three of five starts, all on synthetic tracks, and has been working solidly for his Southern California debut.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Canonize will be making his first start for trainer Ron Ellis since finishing fourth in the 2010 Underwood, 5 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Cost of Freedom.
$100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III, Race 6, 3:05 p.m.), 3 & Up Up, 6 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pacific Ocean (KY), J Rosario, 118, M R Mitchell
2. Irrefutable (KY), M E Smith, 120, B Baffert
3. Quiet Invader (MD), C Sutherland, 118, B Baffert
4. Canonize (KY), V Espinoza, 116, R W Ellis
5. Shediak (FR), H I Berrios, 120, B D Cecil
6. Comma to the Top (FL), G K Gomez, 120, P Miller
7. Carbonite (KY), M Garcia, 118, M R Mitchell
8. Euroears (KY), R Bejarano, 126, B Baffert
9. M One Rifle (CA), J Talamo, 118, B Headley