Mensa Heat, a four-time winner since being claimed April 15 by Ted H. West, is among seven set to go in the $80,000 On Trust Handicap on closing day of the fall meet Dec. 18 at Hollywood Park.
Restricted to California breds at 7 1/2 furlongs on the Cushion Track, the On Trust is the ninth of 10 races on the 26th and final program of the meet. The On Trust has a 4:38 p.m. PST post.
Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Mensa Heat has been worse than third only once in seven starts since being taken for $25,000 at Santa Anita Park. The 5-year-old gelded son of Unusual Heat is 8-for-40 in his career with earnings of $366,258. Assigned top weight of 122 pounds, he will be ridden from post 6 by Joe Talamo.
Mensa Heat has won twice for his current connections at Hollywood Park, but both of those wins came on turf. This will be the first start for Mensa Heat since he trailed as the 3-2 favorite in the California Cup Sprint Oct. 29 at Santa Anita.
Three weeks earlier, Mensa Heat finished third, defeated by three-quarters of a length, by Amazombie in the Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I). Amazombie followed that performance with a victory in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Undefeated in three starts on Cushion Track, Red Defense enters off an optional claiming allowance turf victory for owner-breeder John Harris and trainer Carla Gaines. The 4-year-old gelded son of Redattore, making his stakes debut in the On Trust, is 5-for-6 overall with a bankroll of $145,116.
Joel Rosario, the Hollywood Park meet's leading rider heading into the final weekend, is the regular pilot for Red Defense, who drew post 3.
Chiloquin will be seeking his sixth career win for trainer Scott Hansen, who co-owns the gelding with co-breeder Carl Asadurian. Winner of the Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar in August, the 3-year-old son of Tribal Rule has started 14 times and earned $239,484.
Trainer John Sadler, who won the 2009 On Trust with Bestdressed, will saddle Scofield Barracks. Runner-up against $40,000 claimers Dec. 9 after being taken for $32,000 by owners Gary and Cecil Barber Nov. 13, the 5-year-old One Man Army gelding has won five of 27 and has a bankroll of $230,650.
Legal Separation, from the Ed Moger Jr. barn for owners Curt and Lila Lanning, seeks his second local win of the year. The 4-year-old Jackpot gelding has lost three in a row since a head victory in a July 14 allowance event.
Spud Spivens cuts back a bit in distance after defeating open optional claimers as the 8-5 choice at 1 1/16 miles Nov. 19. Owned by Audrey and Vincent Marchionno and trainer Henry Moreno, the 3-year-old Tizbud gelding has three wins, all on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track, in 16 lifetime starts.
Mark the Bench returns in 11 days after being claimed for $25,000 by Mike Mitchell, currently leading the trainer standings at Hollywood. The 6-year-old Benchmark horse looks to end an 0-for-11 run on synthetic tracks.
$80,000 On Trust Handicap (Race 9, 4:38 p.m. PST), California-breds 3 & Up, 7 1/2 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Spud Spivens (CA), G K Gomez, 116, H Moreno
2. Red Defense (CA), J Rosario, 121, C Gaines
3. Scofield Barracks (CA), H I Berrios, 113, J W Sadler
4. Mark the Bench (CA), M Garcia, 112, M R Mitchell
5. Legal Separation (CA), V Espinoza, 116, E Moger Jr.
6. Mensa Heat (CA), J Talamo, 122, T H West
7. Chiloquin (CA), M A Pedroza, 118, S Hansen