Irish-bred Whilly, who provided 40-year-old journeyman jockey Felipe Martinez with his first graded stakes victory in last year's San Marcos (gr. IIT), will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the 1 1/4-mile event over Santa Anita's turf course on Sunday.
Better Talk Now will have some help in Saturday's $750,000 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park with the prospect of a soft turf course and stablemate Shake the Bank.
A full field of turf specialists, including defending champion Request for Parole and John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner, Better Talk Now, is expected for the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park July 2.
Given his head by jockey Patrick Valenzuela, Brazilian-bred License To Run spurted away from the field on the final turn and romped to a five-length victory Saturday in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap Handicap (gr. II).
Sharon Fitzpatrick's millionaire Continental Red faces seven other turf marathoners as the 9-year-old gelding seeks to regain his winning form in Saturday's San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/2 miles over Santa Anita's grass.
Crafty rider Felipe Martinez milked an easy lead with Irish-bred Whilly and had just enough left to hold off Puppeteer in the $150,000 San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 miles on the Santa Anita Park turf Saturday.
Eight evenly-matched older turf specialists are set to go postward in Saturday's San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Traffic was tight in the stretch run of the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) but Gary Tanaka's Brazilian-bred Pellegrino found plenty of room along the inside with Gary Stevens aboard to spring a 10-1 surprise Saturday.
The connections for Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) upsetter Better Talk Now are gambling that a victory in Hollywood Park's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Saturday will be enough to secure an Eclipse Award as the year's North American male turf champion.
Most Popular Stories
- Broken Pelvis Cause of Charismatic's Death
- Horse of the Year Charismatic Dies
- Arrogate 'His Usual Self' in Five-Furlong Move
- Under Agreement, Trainer Umarov Suspended Five Years
- One Liner Laughs Last in Southwest Stakes Victory
- Gun Runner Rolls to Razorback Handicap Victory
- Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - February 21, 2017
- Classic Empire, McCraken Individual Favorites in Pool 3
- Guest Suite Fires Bullet in Preparation for Risen Star
- Lucky Pulpit, Sire of 'Chrome', Dies of a Heart Attack