The Hollywood Park Turf Festival continues Saturday with a pair of Grade 3 stakes for two-year-olds, the $100,000 Generous and $100,000 Miesque for fillies, and both races will be contested at a mile on turf. John Sadler will try to become only the second trainer to win the Generous in consecutive years when he sends out a pair, Rising Legend and Under Review, and he is responsible for top contender Pussycat Lips in the Miesque later on the program.
Sadler, who won the 2011 Generous with Stoney Fleece, will try to match Jerry Fanning, who repeated with Overtrump in 1984 after winning with Artichoke a year earlier. Rising Legend and Under Review will both be making their first start for the Sadler stable after private purchases.
A son of Rock of Gibraltar, Rising Legend enters the Generous off back-to-back turf victories in England, the most recent coming September 15 at Doncaster at the one-mile distance. The English-bred chestnut earned those victories after finishing second or third in his first four races. Julien Leparoux will pick up the mount.
Owned by a partnership that includes Tim Mickelson, the younger brother of PGA star Phil Mickelson, Under Review began his career going one-for-two at Arlington Park. He opened his racing career with a victory over $50,000 maiden claimers over the Polytrack on August 26 and then just missed against entry-level allowance/optional claiming rivals on turf next out, recording a fast-closing second on September 29. Rafael Bejarano will take over the reins on the gray son of Even the Score.
Den's Legacy will stretch out for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the 2001 Generous with Mountain Rage, after finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview on November 2 at Santa Anita. The Medaglia d'Oro colt broke his maiden on the Polytrack at Del Mar and also finished second in the October 8 Zuma Beach when making his turf debut. Garrett Gomez retains the mount.
Tree of Life returns to California after suffering his first defeat when 10th in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on October 6. Trained by Craig Dollase, the Lion Heart colt began his career with two wins, upsetting maidens at nearly 23-1 on August 18 before capturing the Barretts Juvenile on September 16 at Fairplex Park. Tree of Life will be making his grass debut Saturday with jockey Aaron Gryder.
Counting Day will make his first start for trainer Carla Gaines after being purchased privately off a 10 1/4-length score over high-priced maiden claimers on Keeneland's Polytrack. The Mingun gelding will receive a rider switch to Victor Espinoza.
A total of 10 runners are set for the Generous and nine fillies will line up for the Miesque.
Sadler will have a chance for the first Generous-Miesque sweep since Todd Pletcher won both races in 2007 with The Leopard (Generous) and Sea Chanter (Miesque).
Pussycat Lips will make her first start in this country and first for Sadler in the Miesque. By Holy Roman Emperor, the formerly Irish-based filly hails from the stakes-winning Sadler's Wells mare On The Nile and exits a nice 3 1/4-length score over maidens on July 16 at Kilarney after finishing third in her June 27 bow. Gomez takes the mount on the bay.
Flashy Ways will try to rebound for trainer Richard Baltas after finishing 11th in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The Catienus filly has started her career with consecutive victories, including the October 8 Surfer Girl Stakes at the Miesque distance, and the chestnut will keep Joe Talamo in the saddle.
Miss Empire enters off a win in her turf debut for conditioner Peter Miller. Third in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes on dirt two back, the Empire Maker filly captured the October 27 Pike Place Dancer at Golden Gate Fields by a neck most recently. She broke her maiden in the June 16 Cinderella Stakes on Cushion Track and also placed against males in the Grade 2 Best Pal on Del Mar's Polytrack.
In search of his first Miesque score, trainer Doug O'Neill will send out a pair of private purchases -- European imports Birdlover and Redressthebalance.
Birdlover won once in three starts in her native England, dropping two starts on turf before graduating over Polytrack at Kempton on October 18. Edwin Maldonado rides the chestnut daughter of Byron. The Irish-bred captured her first two starts in England but will be looking to snap a four-race unplaced skein against stakes rivals. Bejarano rides.
Chad Brown, a former assistant to the late Bobby Frankel and one of the rising training stars in Thoroughbred racing, will be represented by Premier Steps, an Irish-bred who exits a neck second in a Group 3 at Deauville. The Footstepsinthesand filly also placed in a Group 3 event at Ascot three starts back. Leparoux picks up the mount.