Trainer Pico Perdomo expressed confidence that Gourmet Girl will be ready for a top effort in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8-miles Saturday at Hollywood Park despite an 11-week hiatus since her last race.
That was a smashing 4 1/2-length win in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park on April 8. That victory put the 6-year-old Cal-bred mare over the $1-million mark in earnings. She cost just $3,500 as a yearling.
Gourmet Girl has recorded three slow works in recent weeks by design according to Perdomo. He said that two years ago after winning the Milady Handicap, Gourmet Girl worked six furlongs in 1:10 and change against instructions for the Vanity and came up empty for the race, finishing last.
"I might work her a half-mile Thursday," the trainer said. After going winless in 10 starts in 2000, Gourmet Girl has bounced back this year with stakes victories in two of her last three starts. "Blinkers have made a difference this year," Perdomo said. "I put them on before she won the Golden Gate stakes (the Sacramento Handicap March 3). I made a mistake in her next start in the Santa Margarita Handicap, when she ran fifth. I told the jockey to take her back, but there was no pace."
Gourmet Girl, who will be ridden by Gary Stevens, has four firsts, three seconds, and one third in nine starts over the Hollywood Park surface.
A field of five is probable: Lazy Sluzan, Victor Espinoza, 122 pounds; Gourmet Girl, Stevens, 119; Feverish, Eddie Delahoussaye, 117; Setareh, Garrett Gomez, 114; and Letter of Intent, Laffit Pincay Jr., 111.