Hollinger faces 10 in the Tropical Turf Handicap.

Hollinger faces 10 in the Tropical Turf Handicap.

Michael Burns

Hollinger Takes Class Drop in Tropical Turf

Eighth in Woodbine Mile, Attfield runner lands in softer spot at Calder Nov. 30.

Hollinger will find an opportune spot in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course & Casino, in spite of hauling high weight in a field of 11 on the Florida oval's closing day.

At 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up, the Tropical Turf Handicap is the second of two graded stakes at Calder Nov. 30 and is scheduled as race 10 with an approximate post of 4:23 p.m. EST. The other feature on the card is the $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares, with an approximate post of 3:05 p.m.

Eighth last time out in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) and third in the 2011 edition of the Tropical Turf, Hollinger drops in company while carrying 118 pounds including jockey Jose Lezcano. The Roger Attfield-trained son of Black Minnaloushe has yet to win this season for owners Robert Harvey and A. Wortzman, but has performed competitively in graded stakes throughout 2012. 
A 5-year-old Ontario-bred, Hollinger kicked off his campaign with a runner-up finish in the Jan. 14 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIIT) followed by a half-length miss in the Feb. 11 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT). Fifth in the Maker's 46 Mile Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland this spring and third in the King Edward Stakes presented by TVG (gr. IIT) back at Woodbine, he also had a second in a Woodbine allowance and a fourth in the July 22 Nijinsky Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Hollinger's last victory came in an optional claimer back in October 2011 at Woodbine, which he won after running eighth in that year's edition of the Woodbine Mile as well.  
Attfield also has allowance winner Good Better Best, who has made all but one of 10 starts for Harlequin Ranches at Woodbine. The 4-year-old Ontario-bred son of Best of the Bests was second in the one-mile Bunty Lawless Stakes at the Toronto oval Oct. 21.
Virginia-bred Dannhauser is one of several other contenders with recent stakes form; the 4-year-old son of Johannesburg took the Oct. 27 Laurel Turf Cup Stakes going 1 1/2 miles for trainer Kathleen O'Connell.
Empire Builder was second in the Oct. 17 Tropical Park Derby, 14 lengths behind runaway winner Csaba. The 3-year-old Kitten's Joy  runner has taken three ungraded stakes at Calder for trainer Luis Duco and Ken and Sarah Ramsey this year: the Mambo Meister in May, the American Dreamer in June, and the Naked Greed Stakes, his last win, Aug. 18.
Hoofit, trained by Graham Motion, is the lone graded stakes winner in the field—but that victory dates back to the 2011 edition of the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (gr. IIIT). The New Zealand-bred Mossman gelding was second in the Oct. 29 Win Stakes at Saratoga Race Course this summer, then ran third in an optional claimer won by Noble's Promise at Keeneland Oct. 27.
Multiple graded stakes-placed contenders Philly Ace, Sleepless Knight, and Citrus Kid, allowance winners Mr. Irons, Alley Oop Oop, and maiden winner Scorcher complete the field.
$100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 10, approximate post 4:23 p.m. EST), 3YO & Up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Philly Ace (PA), L. Saez, 117, C Clement
2. Good Better Best (ON), P. Lopez, 115, R L Attfield
3. Dannhauser (VA), S. Russell, 117, K O'Connell
4. Hoofit (NZ), J. Rocco, Jr., 116, H G Motion
5. Alley Oop Oop (FL), F. Jara, 114, S I Gold
6. Scorcher (KY), A. Castillo, 110, M J Azpurua
7. Sleepless Knight (KY), E. Trujillo, 116, K J Breen
8. Hollinger (ON), J. Lezcano, 118, R L Attfield
9. Empire Builder (KY), J.M. Rios, 114, L Duco
10. Mr. Irons (KY), F. Boyce, 114, F Abbott, III
11. Citrus Kid (KY), K.J. Desormeaux, 116, J P Terranova, II