Liaison Back in Comfort Zone for Affirmed
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 5/31/2012 8:31:44 PM
Last Updated: 6/2/2012 3:56:35 PM

Liaison won the CashCall Futurity in December at Hollywood Park.
Photo: Benoit Photo

Liaison  , sixth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at odds of 56-1, should find the company a little more to his liking when he returns to action in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) June 3 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, the son of Indian Charlie is trained by Bob Baffert, who won the Affirmed for the third time last year with Coil  .

Seven 3-year-olds are signed on for the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed, which is contested on Hollywood's Cushion Track. The race is the eighth on the Sunday program with a 4:40 p.m. probable post.

Liaison, carrying top weight of 122 pounds, will be seeking his first win since he defeated Rousing Sermon by a neck in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) last December at Hollywood. He has failed to finish in the money in four tries in 2012.

The bay colt wore blinkers in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby and performed well in the 20-horse field. He stalked stablemate Bodemeister   while racing wide before tiring in the homestretch. He was sixth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) as well.

Liaison has worked three times since the Kentucky Derby, most recently posting a bullet five-furlong move in :58 3/5 handily over the Cushion Track May 28. It was the fastest of 56 timed at the distance that day.

Liaison will continue to wear blinkers in the Affirmed. He has drawn on the outside of the field and will be reunited with Rafael Bejarano, who rode him in the CashCall Futurity. Liaison is 2-for-2 on Hollywood's Cushion Track.

Baffert also entered Gun Boat for George Bolton and Fog City Stables. The son of Congrats  , third in the Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) by one length to stablemate Drill May 12 at Hollywood, adds blinkers for the first time in the Affirmed. Gun Boat worked on the Cushion Track May 28 for Baffert, clocking five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.

Also stretching out from the seven-furlong Barrera is American Act, who came up a half-length short after setting the pace over the willing Gun Boat. Trained by Jack Carava for Howard and Janet Siegel, American Act faded to seventh the last time he tried 1 1/16 miles in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 10 at Santa Anita Park.

Holy Candy, who graduated at Santa Anita March 23, made his next appearance in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) at Keeneland. After a terrible start, the gray/roan son of Candy Ride   rallied from last in the field of 13 to finish fourth on the Polytrack, 4 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Dullahan.

John Sadler trains Holy Candy for Craig Stables and Donkey Island Racing. Holy Candy has worked five times at Hollywood since the Blue Grass, including a bullet six-furlong drill in 1:12 3/5 May 20. He came back one week later at seven panels and was timed in 1:24 4/5.

Unusual Heatwave, from Alexis Barba barn, won the Snow Chief Stakes for state-breds by a half-length April 28.

Blingo captured the La Puente Stakes on the Santa Anita turf in his most recent start April 20 for trainer John Shirreffs.

Nonios enters for Jerry Hollendorfer after running third behind San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) winner Hudson Landing in an allowance/optional claiming event April 7 at Golden Gate Fields.

$100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, 4:40 p.m.), 3YOs, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse. Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Nonios (KY), M A Pedroza, 115, J Hollendorfer
2. Gun Boat (FL), J Talamo, 115, B Baffert
3. Holy Candy (KY), J Rosario, 116, J W Sadler
4. Blingo (KY), M E Smith, 118, J A Shirreffs
5. Unusual Heatwave (CA), M Garcia, 116, A Barba
6. American Act (KY), G K Gomez, 118, J Carava
7. Liaison (KY), R Bejarano, 122, B Baffert
Blinkers On: Gun Boat



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