New Export, a Brazilian-bred 5-year-old horse with two group I victories in his country, will make his United States debut for trainer Bobby Frankel in Saturday's $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf.
Goncalo Borges Torrealba's TNT Stud, which owns New Export in partnership with Michael Bello, won the Inglewood Handicap two years ago with Brazilian-bred Leroidesanimaux, the start of an eight-race winning streak that was rewarded with an Eclipse Award as male turf champion in 2005.
New Export, who came to the U.S. last summer, will break from the three-post under jockey Alex Solis in the Inglewood at 1 1/16 miles.
New Export broke his maiden in his first start, then endured a five-race losing streak before posting consecutive group I wins in his final starts in Brazil. He will be making his first start since March 20, 2005.
"We got him before Del Mar and he had to overcome a splint problem," Frankel assistant Humberto Ascanio said.
Vladimir Cerin will saddle the 2-1 morning line choice Willow O Wisp, whose wins include the 2005 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIITO at Hollywood Park and the 2005 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT). The 4-year-old is five-for-15 overall with earnings of $509,240.
Red Fort, a 6-year-old Irish-bred from the barn of trainer Neil Drysdale, was two photo finishes shy of perfection in three starts a year ago. Following a win against allowance foes, he lost by a nose to stablemate King of Happiness in the 2005 Inglewood and by a head to Sweet Return in the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) in his last start.
"He had a sore ankle," Drysdale said of the 10-month layoff.
Sarafan, a 9-year-old also trained by Drysdale, has ten wins in 50 starts for earnings of $2,621,881. The multiple graded winner began his career in Great Britain in 1999 and finished fifth in the 2001 Inglewood while making his first start in a U.S. stakes race.
Senor Swinger has won ten of 30 starts while earning $940,742. The 6-year-old finished out of the money as the second choice in the 2003 Hollywood Derby (gr. I), his lone start over the Inglewood lawn.
Artiste Royal, a 5-year-old Irish-bred horse, will be making his first local start following four victories in ten starts in France and a sixth-place finish in last summer's Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park. "He got hurt in that race and needed some time," said Jeff Ford, assistant to trainer Laura de Seroux. "He wants firm ground."
Quasimodo, three-for-three since moving to the Julio Canani stable, meets tougher in his first career stakes race, while 8-year-old Irish-bred Narrative makes his North American debut following a 21-month layoff. $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:53 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Sarafan (KY), Tyler Baze, 115, 10/1
2. Quasimodo (KY), Omar Figueroa, 114, 6/1
3. New Export (BRZ), Alex O. Solis, 116, 5/1
4. Willow O Wisp (FL), Victor Espinoza, 117, 2/1
5. Narrative (IRE), David Cohen, 113, 20/1
6. Red Fort (IRE), Corey S. Nakatani, 118, 5/2
7. Senor Swinger (KY), Jose Valdivia, Jr., 116, 8/1
8. Artiste Royal (IRE), Aaron T. Gryder, 116, 10/1