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Compari to Tackle Rail Trip in Gold Cup

Trainer Marty Jones gives the go-ahead after grade II turf winner's strong work.

Compari, victorious in six of eight races, will take on defending champion Rail Trip in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 10, trainer Marty Jones confirmed.

Jones gave the California-bred 4-year-old gelding, whose success has mostly come on the grass, the green light after a seven-furlong work in 1:26 4/5 on Cushion Track June 27. “He finished really nice,” said Jones afterward.

Owned and bred by John Harris, Don Valpredo and John Nicoletti, Compari had his six-race winning streak snapped in a seventh-place finish in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood turf May 31. Compari was stuck in the far outside post in the field of 10.

“It was a combination of things,” said Jones in analyzing the defeat, noting that Compari was forced to steady at the three-eighths pole. “The post parade, the break, and he didn’t have a smooth trip.

“Things didn’t work out that race and we hope to put them together next time out,” continued Jones. “He won the Snow Chief (in 2009) on this track and has always trained well on it.”

Compari would be trying 1 1/4 miles for the first time in the Gold Cup.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who won the 2004 Gold Cup on Total Impact, will ride Compari for the first time. By Redattore out of the Dixieland Band mare Southern Charm, Compari has won four stakes, including the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita turf. He has earned $422,640.