Drill and American Act, separated by a nose in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) in February, will renew their acquaintance in the $100,000 Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Betfair Hollywood Park May 13.
The San Vicente winner at the Barrera distance of seven furlongs, Drill is one of two entered by trainer Bob Baffert, along with Gun Boat. Just four 3-year-olds are lining up for the Cushion Track test, which goes as the third race on the Hollywood card with a 2:03 p.m. PDT probable post.
The Barrera field lost a major contender when San Pedro Stakes winner Midnight Transfer was turned out for three months following surgery for a non-displaced condylar fracture of a cannon bone. Trainer Carla Gaines reported that the son of Hard Spun underwent surgery during the weekend of May 5-6.
Also missing from the field is Right to Vote, who was nominated by trainer Eoin Harty but will instead point to the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Drill and American Act will each carry 123 pounds to lead the Barrera lineup.
American Act, to be ridden for the first time by Garrett Gomez, will be seeking his second stakes win of the Hollywood meet. The son of Quiet American defeated five rivals in the off-the-turf Harry Henson Stakes April 26 at six furlongs. Usually a front-runner, American Act came from off the pace in the Henson and won by a nose over Senor Rain as the even-money choice. American Act got the job done in spite of bearing out badly at the quarter-pole.
Trained by Jack Carava for Howard and Janet Siegel Racing, American Act set the pace in the San Vicente Feb. 19 at Santa Anita Park and battled gamely against Drill in the stretch but was denied at the wire. Creative Cause finished third in the race.
Drill, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, has raced once since the San Vicente. The son of Lawyer Ron was second as the 3-5 favorite in the one-mile Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 14.
The win in the San Vicente was the first for Drill since he captured the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) in his third start Sept, 7. The dark bay/brown colt returned to run second in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita before being drubbed in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Baffert, in search of his first win in the Barrera, also entered Gun Boat. Owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable, also owners of The Factor , Gun Boat has raced once in 2012. He finished second by a half-length in an allowance/optional claiming event at six furlongs April 22 at Santa Anita. That was the first race for the son of Congrats since his fourth-place finish in the Del Mar Futurity in his second start.
Completing the field is Sweet Sophia's Boompa, a first-out maiden winner by a nose at 10-1 odds April 7 at Santa Anita. Boompa is a colt by Include trained by Gary Mandella.
$100,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III, Race 3, 2:03 p.m.), 3YOs, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Gun Boat (FL), R Bejarano, 115, B Baffert
2. Drill (KY), M Garcia, 123, B Baffert
3. American Act (KY), G K Gomez, 123, J Carava
4. Boompa (KY), J Talamo, 115, G Mandella