A trio of Eastern invaders, a British import and a horse claimed this year for $12,000 help comprise an eclectic mix of eleven grass specialists clashing Saturday in Hollywood Park's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles.
The lukewarm favorite could be California-based Delta Form, an Australian-bred who won the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) before a near miss in the Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park when a troubled third one-half length behind victorious Denon. Cetewayo and Rochester are Easterners who will draw keen support.
Owned by Team Valor Stables and Gary Barber, Delta Form is a 6-year-old gelding who was imported from South Africa last year. Trained by Jenine Sahadi, he proved his distance capabilities by rallying to win the Del Mar Handicap at 1 3/8 miles in August. He also closed strongly in the Sept. 29 Turf Classic Invitational at 1 1/2 miles after being bumped at the quarter pole. Delta Form has earned $486,717 from an 8-2-5 record in 24 starts.
Trained by Michael Dickinson for Dr. John A. Chandler, Cetewayo brings earnings of $1,113,918 into the Turf Cup. The 8-year-old most recently ran second to Strut The Stage in the Sky Classic Handicap (gr. IIT) at Woodbine on Oct. 27. He has won 11 of 29 starts.
Rochester is coming off a victory in the Sycamore Breeders' Cup Handicap at Keeneland following a win in the Kentucky Cup Handicap at Kentucky Downs where favored Cetewayo ran fourth. Jonathan Sheppard trains Rochester for Augustin Stable. The 6-year-old gelding has banked $636,133 from a 9-4-0 mark in 21 career races.
British import Hannibal Lad will make his U.S. debut in the Turf Cup for Red Baron's Barn and trainer Darrell Vienna.
Special Matter is the former $12,000 claimer. Since being grabbed by Rafael Becerra for a partnership, the 4-year-old gelding registered a 9-1 upset in the Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita on Oct. 27.
TVG will air the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup live as part of its "Trackside Live! Hollywood Park" program. The race will air between 7:00-7:40 p.m. (ET). The show will be simulcast on Fox Sports Net West 2 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. (ET). $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT), 1 1/2 mile on turf, 3 & up
PP Horse, Jockey
1 Delta Form (AUS), Goncalino Almeida
2 Nazirali (IRE), Brice Blanc
3 Lasting Tribute (KY), Ignacio Puglisi
4 Sligo Bay (IRE), Laffit Pincay, Jr.
5 Cetewayo (KY), Mike Smith
6 Alyzig (KY), Kent Desormeaux
7 Williams News (KY), Alex Solis
8 Hannibal Lad (GB) , Victor Espinoza
9 Special Matter (FL). Tyler Baze
10 Grammarian (KY), Jose Valdivia, Jr.
11 Rochester (PA), Eddie M. Martin, Jr.
All carry 126 pounds.