Even the Score Works Toward Hollywood Gold Cup

Edited from Hollywood Park reports
Even the Score, the probable favorite for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on Saturday, completed drills for the 1 1/4-mile race with a five-furlong work in 1:00 Monday at Hollywood Park.

Even the Score seeks to become the first horse to sweep the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II), Californian (gr. II), and Gold Cup since Eleven Stitches in 1981. Eleven Stitches needed the assistance of a disqualification of Caterman for interference in the Gold Cup to complete the triple for trainer Donn Luby and jockey Sandy Hawley.

Even the Score, a 6-year-old roan, has emerged on top of the handicap division at the Hollywood Park meet. Even the Score was transferred to Vladimir Cirin in California after being purchased privately last autumn by Texan Rosendo Parra.

"He's in a zone right now," said jockey David Flores, who won the Gold Cup with Marquetry in 1991 and with Siphon in 1996. Cerin won the race in 2000 with longshot Early Pioneer.

Also on the work tab Monday was Gift of the Eagle, who drilled five furlongs in :59 3/5 for trainer John Shirreffs.

"If the field is not strong, we might go," said Shirreffs of the 6-year-old horse. Gift of the Eagle finished fourth in the Californian in his last start.

A field of at least five appears set for the Gold Cup: Even the Score (Flores), Olmodavor (Alex Solis), Continental Red (Victor Espinoza), Total Impact (Mike Smith) and Yessirgeneralsir (Omar Figueroa). Texas invader Yessirgeneralsir is scheduled to work at Hollywood Park on Tuesday for trainer Dallas Keen. Possible starters are Gift of the Eagle and Royal Moro.