Handicapping

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Siphonic Likely Futurity Favorite; Officer Challenges

Siphonic Likely Futurity Favorite; Officer Challenges

Trainer Bob Baffert's Officer, the 2-year-old colt who won his first five races so effortlessly he was promoted as racing's latest wunderkind, will seek redemption from two dramatic setbacks in Saturday's $460,750 Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park. Siphonic, who overcame obstacles that compromised odds-on favorite Officer and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, is expected to be a slight favorite in the grade I event at 1 1/16 miles

Baffert to Send Pair in Hollywood Futurity

Ending weeks of speculation, trainer Bob Baffert confirmed Wednesday that he would enter Officer and Mountain Rage in the $360,000-estimated Hollywood Futurity Saturday. "They're the two that are doing the best," said Baffert Wednesday from his Santa Anita stable office. Baffert also had Popular and Hawk's Top Gun under consideration for the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles.

Ice Point and Second Reality Top Pellegrini Field

While Argentina finds itself in a political and economic crisis, its racing industry, which sees itself seriously affected by the general situation, awaits to close the year with a bang this next Saturday at Hipodromo San Isidro with the running of the 113th edition of the Gran Premio Internacional Carlos Pellegrini (Arg-I), over the turf course at the distance of 2400 meters .

Is Morluc a 'Shoe-In' for Hong Kong Sprint?

When Morluc finished second to Falvelon in the 2000 edition of the Hong Kong Sprint, he did so while running on tender feet. "That's not going to be the case this year," said trainer Randy Morse. "We've had Morluc on bar shoes ever since he arrived in Hong Kong. The shoes provide him with just the elevation he needs. Morluc's in much better condition for this year's race."

Steeplechase Season Closes Sunday

Florida's Calder Race Course will again close the National Steeplechase Association season, with two races carded as part of Sunday's racing program. The jumpers will compete in a $25,000 allowance hurdle and the $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase Stakes (NSA-III).

2002 Derby Hopefuls: Early Horse-by-Horse Rundown

2002 Derby Hopefuls: Early Horse-by-Horse Rundown

Before the early (and we stress early) list of classic hopefuls gets too long, we're going to sort out the growing number of promising 2-year-olds and take a crack at where they might fit in the 2002 Kentucky Derby picture. We're sure there will be omissions, but this at least will provide an idea who might be some of the major players next spring. Horses are listed in alphabetical order:

Kentucky Derby 2002: Some Holiday Gifts

Kentucky Derby 2002: Some Holiday Gifts

Trainers on both coasts unwrapped some exciting early Christmas presents last week, and all the gifts appear to come with batteries packed with enough charge to last well past next May. This is the time of year when the colts with Derby pedigrees make their appearance, and if you like to see brilliance and a big closing kick to go along with a very low dosage index, then you're going to love Pelirrojo, Charioteer, Axis, and Iwin.

Warp Speed Scottie Beaming In for Hollywood Futurity

Remember Tincin, whose connections threatened to enter the maiden in this year's Kentucky Derby before a cough forced his withdrawal? Those who look back on that debacle fondly will want to tune in for the Dec. 15 Hollywood Futurity, when Iowa-bred Warp Speed Scottie will ship in to take on Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) third-place finisher Siphonic in the 1 1/16-mile grade I race.

Men's Exclusive Seeks Underwood Repeat

Men's Exclusive Seeks Underwood Repeat

Men's Exclusive has lost his last four starts since winning the Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita in January, but conditioner Wesley Ward is confident the 8-year-old gelding will run big in defense of his crown in the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at six furlongs Sunday.

Val Royal on Eclipse Quest in Citation

Val Royal on Eclipse Quest in Citation

Bidding for an Eclipse Award as 2001 Turf Champion, Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal will be a solid favorite to capture Hollywood Park's grade II, $500,000 Citation Handicap on Saturday before shipping to Asia to compete in the $2.3-million Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 16.

Include to Carry High Weight in Clark

Pimlico Special winner Include will be the starting highweight for Friday's 127th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap. Meanwhile, two more Churchill Downs-based horses have joined the list of prospective starters for the Clark. Mary and Gary West's Ubiquity, trained by Bill Mott, and Jim and Pat Bohanon's Trion Georgia will contest the race.

Spain Works Well for Falls City

Spain, who won the 2000 edition of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and came within a head of repeating that feat this year, worked a sharp :59 4/5 over five furlongs in her final preparation for Thursday's $250,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

Frankel, Drysdale Point to Turf Festival

Trainer Bobby Frankel, already odds-on to win his second consecutive Eclipse Award, will attempt to draw further away from his peers by starting up to nine horses in Hollywood Park's Turf Festival Nov. 23-25. In fact, he may corner the field in the Grade I Hollywood Derby, run for $500,000 at nine furlongs, by sending four horses to the post. Likely for the Nov. 25 Derby are Juddmonte Farms' Mizzen Mast, Amerman Racing's Blue Steller, Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, and the Niarchos Family's Denon.

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