De Seroux's Trio Surrounds Wilshire 'Cap

(from track report)
Laura de Seroux, who enjoyed an unprecedented ascent last year when guiding 4-year-old filly Azeri to Horse of the Year recognition, seems to have Sunday's $100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) surrounded at Hollywood Park.

De Seroux entered three 4-year-old fillies, including high weights Turtle Bow and Dublino, in the one-mile turf event that drew a field of nine fillies and mares.

French-bred Turtle Bow, top weighted at 121 pounds, will be making her West Coast debut and first start for de Seroux in the Wilshire after racing mostly in France as a 3-year-old for trainer Francois Rohaut. This will be her first race since finishing ninth at odds of 14-1 in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Arlington Park last Oct. 26.

Dublino, unraced since her tenth-place finish at 9-1 in the same Breeders' Cup event, was assigned 120 pounds. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Lear Fan, Dublino might best be remembered for crossing the finish line first in last summer's inaugural American Oaks at Hollywood Park. She was disqualified and placed second behind Megahertz for stretch interference, however.

With both fillies owned by partnerships that include Marshall Naify, Dublino will race coupled with Little Treasure, the third de Seroux entrant. Little Treasure, who will carry 118 pounds, is a French-bred who captured the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) last summer at Del Mar in her U.S. debut.

Turtle Bow – who will be handled by Mike Smith, Azeri's riding companion – has started 10 times internationally with her five victories achieved in France last year. Prior to the Breeders' Cup, she lost her U.S. debut by a neck in Belmont Park's Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) after her rider dropped his whip in the stretch. Turtle Bow has earned $319,516.

Lightly raced Dublino, who will be reunited with jockey Kent Desormeaux, has earned $303,990 from five starts including a pair in France to begin her career. After being disqualified in the American Oaks, she successfully rebounded to take the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I). She has posted two wins and a pair of seconds including the disqualification. Entrymate Little Treasure has earnings of $228,822 from a 6-1-1 record in 11 starts.

The de Seroux trio will have to contend with Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bobby Frankel's Final Destination. A New Zealand-bred 5-year-old purchased last year by Edmond Gann, Final Destination is working on a five-race winning streak after losing her first six starts in New Zealand. The string extends to two starts in the U.S. for Frankel including the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 17. Final Destination, who will carry 118 pounds including jockey Victor Espinoza, has earned $211,091.

$100,000-added Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT), fillies & mares, 3 & up, 1 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Rider, Wgt.
1. Coney Kitty, Carlos Lopez, 112
2. Southern Oasis, Alex Solis, 115
3. Final Destination, Victor Espinoza, 118
4a. Little Treasure, Patrick Valenzuela, 118
5. Turtle Bow, Mike Smith, 121
6a. Dublino, Kent Desormeaux, 120
7. Rhythm Of Life, Jose Valdivia Jr., 113
8. Melody Blue, Mark Johnston, 113,
9. Damaschino, Corey Nakatani, 115