Trainer James K. Chapman, who has been based in California for a decade, recently purchased a farm in Florida and will be active in both states next year.
The late John Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm colors were prominent during the opening week at Hollywood Park
Starrer made up for tough luck earlier in the year, coming from off the pace under Jerry Bailey to win the grade II, $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap by one length over game California-bred filly Queenie Belle at Hollywood Parkon Saturday. In the day's third graded stakes, Garrett Gomez guided Brazilian-bred Verruma to a half-length victory over Vencera in the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap.
Spook Express, the probable favorite for the $500,000 Matriarch next Sunday, worked an easy half mile on the Hollywood Park turf course in :50.60 under regular rider Mike Smith.
Brazilian-bred Verruma tracked the early pacesetters, then rallied through the stretch to win her division of the $137,875 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park Friday. Chilean-bred Babae, who Verruma beat in a June allowance race at Belmont, won the second division.
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