Men's Exclusive, winning the Underwood last year.

Men's Exclusive, winning the Underwood last year.

Benoit photos

Men's Exclusive Shows Spirit in Underwood Drill

(From track report)
Men's Exclusive, gunning for a third consecutive victory in the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes (gr. III) on Saturday at Hollywood Park, worked four furlongs in a bullet :47 Wednesday at Santa Anita.

"Working in company was a big help," said trainer Wesley Ward of the venerable 9-year-old gelding who no longer produces his best effort when working alone. "He broke off about 10 lengths behind another horse and just blew by in the stretch. The boy had his chin to his chest and he just pulled him up. He's ready for the battle."

Men's Exclusive has been winless in six starts this year since winning the for the second time last year. The California bred, the only horse to win the Underwood twice, seeks to join John Henry and Native Desert as the only horses to win a stake at Hollywood at an age as old as 9.

Men's Exclusive, owned and bred by H.E. Reed of Corona, has recorded 10 firsts, 15 seconds and three thirds in 41 starts and earned $1,326,828. The jockey assignment was still pending.

A field of at least seven is probable. Others are American System (Mike Smith), F.J.'s Pace (Alex Solis), Mellow Fellow (Laffit Pincay, Jr.), Mighty David (Kent Desormeaux), National Saint (Victor Espinoza) and Ride And Shine (Iggy Puglisi).