On a three-race win streak since moved to the Northern California barn of veteran trainer William Morey, Hudson Landing bids for his first graded win in the $100,000 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) over the Hollywood Park turf June 20.
Hudson Landing, who won the Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in his most recent start May 15, is one of nine 3-year-olds entered in the 1 1/16-mile Will Rogers. The race is the eighth on the program with a 4:35 p.m. PDT probable post.
Russell Baze, who is closing in on 11,000 wins in his Hall of Fame career, has ridden Hudson Landing in each of his California wins and will have the mount once again. The Maria's Mon colt began his career in New York last summer before spending part of the 2010 winter campaign in Florida for trainer Stan Hough. He had lost seven in a row before breaking his maiden in his initial start over Golden Gate's Tapeta racing surface April 2. His two most recent wins have come on the turf.
“We bought him in Florida as a maiden and got lucky,” said Morey from Golden Gate June 17 after shipping the chestnut colt south two days earlier. Hudson Landing galloped on the Hollywood main track under the supervision of Dean Greenman.
In the 1 1/16-mile Alcatraz, Hudson Landing came from 12 lengths off the pace to score by three-quarters of a length over Will Rogers foes Dream Nettie and Leroy's Dynameaux.
“After the stakes race, we started looking south for opportunities,” explained Morey. “The turf and the timing were good for this one.”
Owned by Gene Guelfo, Franklin Lindstrom, and Roger and Cindy Newman, Hudson Landing has won three of 10 starts with three seconds and a third and earnings of $93,224. He breaks from post 5 and carries 119 pounds, two less than the co-high weights, Who's Up and Dream Nettie.
Who’s Up, the only graded stakes winner in the Will Rogers field, finished ninth of 10 in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) in his first race of the year April 3. M Racing's son of Graeme Hall will try to remain undefeated on turf. He was 2-for-2 on grass as a 2-year-old, including a 1 3/4-length victory in the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Nov. 28.
Trained by Jorge Periban, Who’s Up has won two of five. Victor Espinoza, who won the 2007 Will Rogers with Worldly, has ridden the chestnut colt in all of his races to date.
Jerry Hollendorfer trains and co-owns Dream Nettie along with major clients William de Burgh and George Todaro. The Dixie Union gelding won the La Puente on the Santa Anita turf in his stakes debut April 10 in game fashion and will attempt to atone for his second-place effort to Hudson Landing in the Alcatraz. Dream Nettie has won three of 10 starts -- all but three races coming on synthetic tracks -- and breaks from post 4 with Joe Talamo aboard. Talamo rode Dream Nettie to victory in the La Puente.
Leroy’s Dynameaux was nosed for second in the Alcatraz by Dream Nettie and would appear to have plenty of upside after just three races for trainer Mark Glatt and owner/breeder Ellenay Racing.
A gelded son of Leroidesanimaux out of the Dynaformer mare Dyna Peak, Leroy’s Dynameaux won at first asking on the hillside turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on March 26. He returned to the same course to face winners three weeks later and lost a narrow decision to Ukandoit.
The latter makes his stakes debut in the Will Rogers for trainer Bill Spawr after three straight wins. Ukandoit, a gelded son of Northern Afleet , will attempt two turns for the first time in his four-race career.
Macias, from the Bob Baffert barn for Zayat Stables, should appreciate a return to turf after a fourth-place effort in the seven-furlong Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) in his most recent start May 22.
The Purge colt has won twice in four tries on the grass, including stakes wins in both the Baffle and one-mile Eddie Logan earlier at Santa Anita. Macias leads the Will Rogers field in earnings with $173,597, and will be ridden from the far outside post by Martin Garcia.
Summer Movie, who was also entered in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) a day before the Will Rogers, is expected to start in the turf stake for owner George Krikorian and trainer Art Sherman. The gray son of Holy Bull has won two of four on grass, including an impressive victory against optional claimers to start the year April 23 at Hollywood Park.
Irish-bred Bogie, from the Paddy Gallagher stable, and the Carla Gaines-trained Camp Victory are coming off last-race victories.
$100,000 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 MIles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Ukandoit (KY), M E Smith, 115, W Spawr
2. Who's Up (FL), V Espinoza, 121, J Periban
3. Camp Victory (VA), R Bejarano, 115, C Gaines
4. Dream Nettie (KY), J Talamo, 121, J Hollendorfer
5. Hudson Landing (KY), R A Baze, 119, W E Morey
6. Summer Movie (KY), T Baze, 119, A Sherman
7. Leroy's Dynameaux (KY), J Rosario, 115, M Glatt
8. Bogie (IRE), A O Solis, 119, P Gallagher
9. Macias (KY), M Garcia, 117, B Baffert
Blinkers Off: Summer Movie