Bridgetown, a determined second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) earlier this month after setting the pace, is clearly the one to beat in the Nov. 28 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.
Part of the annual Turf Festival this weekend at the Inglewood track, the one-mile, $100,000 Generous, which goes as the fifth race, provides a solid supporting feature to the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) for older fillies and mares. Seven 2-year-olds are set to line up against Eugene Melnyk's Florida homebred Bridgetown, who brings a record of two wins and two seconds in four starts, all on the turf for trainer Ken McPeek.
“He’s doing quite well,” said McPeek, who left six Breeders’ Cup weekend starters at the Arcadia track with assistant Jordan Blair. Bridgetown, who drew the rail, will be ridden for the first time by Garrett Gomez.
Sent off at 8-1 in the one-mile BC Juvenile Turf, Bridgetown proved to be a tough customer on the front end, opening up a daylight lead in the stretch only to give way grudgingly in the final furlong to the victorious Pounced.
Winner of the Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT) in front-running style in his previous start at Woodbine, the Speightstown colt lost to Pounced by three-quarters of a length. He broke his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga by more than five lengths in August.
Among those taking a shot is Michael House's Ace of Aces, an Irish-bred colt who was defeated by a nose at six furlongs in his only prior start in Ireland Sept. 22. Jeff Mullins is the conditioner.
“I’ve had Ace of Aces about two months,” said Mullins, who said that bloodstock agent Niall Dalton located the dark bay or brown gelding.
Also making his U.S. debut is the Irish-bred Coloursoftheglen, who broke his maiden on a synthetic track in England but was otherwise winless overseas in four starts on turf. Eddie Truman trains the chestnut colt for Michael D. Lewis. Coloursoftheglen has not raced since a fifth-place finish July 31 in a handicap during the Glorious Goodwood meeting.
Who's Up, an impressive two-length maiden winner in his turf debut at Santa Anita in his last start Oct. 24, worked five furlongs Nov. 22 on Cushion Track in 1:02 1/5 for trainer Kathy Walsh. The Graeme Hall colt ran seventh as a maiden in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I).
Trainer Bob Baffert is represented by Peachtree Stable's Marcello, making his turf debut after winning two of his first four starts. Most recently, he captured a first-level allowance race that came off the turf at Santa Anita Oct. 14, handily defeating five rivals as the 7-10 choice.
Alfarabi gets back on the grass, the surface over which he broke his maiden at Del Mar this summer, following the gray/roan's seventh-place effort in Oak Tree's Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) for trainer Eoin Harty.
Summer Movie, a maiden turf winner by a nose at Oak Tree Sept. 30 for Art Sherman, and English-bred Lucky Rave, whose two victories came on synthetic tracks in Britain, complete the field.
$100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 5, 2:32 p.m. PST), 2-Year-Olds, One Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Bridgetown (FL), G K Gomez, 122, K G McPeek
2. Ace of Aces (IRE), J Rosario, 114, J Mullins
3. Who's Up (FL), V Espinoza, 118, K Walsh
4. Coloursoftheglen (IRE), A Quinonez, 116, E Truman
5. Marcello (KY), J Valdivia, Jr., 118, B Baffert
6. Lucky Rave (GB), A O Solis, 116, P Eurton
7. Alfarabi (KY), R Bejarano, 118, E G Harty
8. Summer Movie (KY), M C Baze, 118, A Sherman