Splendid Blended to Tackle Elders in Vanity

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Neil Drysdale, who has won the Vanity Handicap (gr. IT) three times, will try to capture Sunday's $300,000 invitational for fillies and mares with 3-year-old Splendid Blended, a feat last accomplished in 1979 by It's In The Air.

Drysdale gave Splendid Blended the green light for the 1 1/8-mile event Wednesday after the filly worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 under exercise rider Marcelino Olguin. "It was an easy five furlongs, and she went well," said Drysdale. "I think she's a go."

Splendid Blended, winner of the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) in December, opened her 2005 campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont on June 4. Jerry Bailey, who rode the filly in New York, has the call back.

Drysdale will try to equal the record of four Vanity victories shared by trainers Ron McAnally and Charlie Whittingham. He previously won the prestigious race with 4-year-olds Princess Rooney, Magnificent Lindy and Gorgeous.

An interesting Vanity pits Splendid Blended against seven-length Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Andujar and Mexican invader Casty, a winner in 14 of 17 starts.

Hollywood Story is also a possibility. "We will probably enter and see," said trainer John Shirreffs, who said he and owner George Krikorian are also considering the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park on July 16.

The probable Vanity lineup: Andujar, Corey Nakatani, 121 pounds; Hollywood Story, Victor Espinoza, 120; Casty, David Flores, 115; Island Fashion, Patrick Valenzuela, 115; Splendid Blended, Bailey, 113; Healthy Addiction, no rider, 112, and Santa Candida, Omar Berrio, 112.