Zenyatta, the undefeated champion older filly or mare of 2008, was assigned high weight of 129 pounds for the June 27 $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Victory Encounter, who gave trainer John Sadler his first grade I triumph with an unexpected Vanity Handicap performance in May, returns to Hollywood Park for another grade I opportunity in the $250,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap Sunday.
Trainer Laura de Seroux was still in the clouds while going through her training routine at Hollywood Park Sunday morning.
Trainer Laura de Seroux hopes to repeat the memorable Memorial Day weekend she experienced last year when Azeri won the Milady (gr. I) on Saturday and Astra captured the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on turf on the following Monday. With Astra retired, de Seroux will send out highly regarded Dublino in the $350,000-added Gamely.
Five fillies and mares have dared to challenge reigning Horse of the Year Azeri on Saturday when the brilliant 5-year-old mare returns to Hollywood Park for the $200,000-added Milady Breeder's Cup Hanidicap (gr. IT).
Azeri, who seeks to defend honors in the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) Saturday, will be the first reigning Horse of the Year to run at Hollywood Park since Sunday Silence in 1990.
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally has deferentially called Horse of the Year Azeri a "monster." After finishing behind the superstar mare with Affluent in all five previous meetings, McAnally knows what he's talking about.
Azeri, reigning Horse of the Year, worked five furlongs in :57 3/5 Friday at San Luis Rey Downs in her final drill before defense of her victory last year in the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares May 24 at Hollywood Park.
Owner George Krikorian said that Starrer, winner of her last three starts, will be forced to miss the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I), expected to showcase Horse of the Year Azeri at Hollywood Park on May 24.
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