Obviously faces five in the American Handicap.

Obviously faces five in the American Handicap.

Benoit Photo

Obviously Stretches Out in American Handicap

Mike Mitchell trainee at preferred one-mile distance for second start of year.

Second in his comeback race last month, Obviously gets back to his preferred one-mile distance in the $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) May 25 on the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The American Handicap, which attracted a field of six, is the first of three graded stakes to be run at Hollywood Park over the three-day Memorial Day weekend. The American is scheduled as race 3 on the Saturday card with an approximate post time of 2:01 p.m. PDT.

Obviously scored a pair of grade II victories in succession last year at one mile for trainer Mike Mitchell, who trains the speedy Irish-bred 5-year-old gelding for Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino. Obviously's graded wins last year came in the Del Mar Mile Handicap and Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita Park.

He was off nearly six months following his third-place finish to stalwarts Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom  after setting a wicked pace in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). Obviously returned to run second to Chips All In in San Simeon Stakes (gr. IIIT) at about 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's hillside turf course April 20. He was caught in the last strides after leading throughout and enjoying a daylight advantage in the stretch.

Obviously has two seconds and a third in three tries on the Hollywood lawn. He has won three of four at one mile in his career, and boasts a lifetime mark of 6-4-2 from 13 starts for earnings of $578,361.

Joe Talamo retains the mount on Obviously, who breaks from post 2 with top weight of 121 pounds.

An intriguing newcomer to the Southern California turf is French-bred Lucayan. He makes his United States debut for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, who will be aiming for his fourth American victory following Man From Eldorado (1992), Silver Wizard (1995), and Labeeb (1996).

The 4-year-old son of Turtle Bowl won the French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) last May at Longchamp in a 27-1 upset for trainer Francois Rohaut. Ahmed Mouknass and Pandora Stud own Lucayan, who has not been out since finishing unplaced in a group II event against older horses Oct. 6 at Longchamp. Julien Leparoux is aboard Lucayan, breaking from the rail under a feathery 118 pounds.

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will be represented by Chosen Miracle. Owned by Peter Abruzzo and John Carver, the 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper  finished directly behind Obviously when third in the San Simeon.

Chosen Miracle won his only start over the Hollywood grass, an allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 8. Edwin Maldonado has the call.

Bob Baffert, another Hall of Fame trainer, takes a stab at the American with a pair of entrantsmutliple graded stakes winner Drill  and Racing Aptitude.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, Drill will be making only his second start on turf in the American. The Lawyer Ron colt finished fourth in the San Simeon with a good late run, beaten 2 1/4 lengths. Donald Dizney's homebred Racing Aptitude will be making his initial start since winning an optional claimer last Aug. 30 on grass at Del Mar.

Trainer John Sadler, who won the 2008 American with 29-1 shot Whatsthescript, will send out Japanese-bred Barocci. Owned by Hronis Racing, the 5-year-old son of Deep Impact won an optional claimer in his Hollywood Park debut at 1 1/8 miles on grass April 28.

$150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 3, 2:01 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Lucayan (FR), J R Leparoux, 118, N D Drysdale
2. Obviously (IRE), J Talamo, 121, M R Mitchell
3. Barocci (JPN), V Espinoza, 114, J W Sadler
4. Chosen Miracle (FL), E A Maldonado, 116, J Hollendorfer
5. Racing Aptitude (FL), M Garcia, 114, B Baffert
6. Drill (KY), R Bejarano, 115, B Baffert