Godolphin's Gayego One to Beat in Triple Bend

Godolphin's Gayego One to Beat in Triple Bend
Photo: Benoitphoto.com
Gayego winning the 2009 Ancient Title Stakes
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Shipping to the West Coast from Belmont Park for the Godolphin Racing team, Gayego is the one to beat in his 2010 North American debut in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) July 10 at Hollywood Park.

Gayego, who is 2-for-2 on the Hollywood Park main track, faces seven foes in the seven-furlong Triple Bend. It is the sixth race at 3:35 p.m. PDT, to be followed two races later by the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).

Assigned top weight of 122 pounds, Gayego has been away from the races since finishing eighth in the Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on World Cup night at Meydan March 27. He was never involved that day and struggled home six lengths behind the victorious Kinsale King. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, the 5-year-old Gilded Time horse has been working smartly at Belmont for his return.

In his last appearance at Hollywood Park, Gayego won an optional claimer on the front end by two lengths Nov. 30, 2008, when still in the barn of trainer Paulo Lobo.

Gayego seeks his second grade I victory after capturing the Ancient Title Stakes at Oak Tree Oct. 11. Gayego followed that with a fourth-place effort in the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), losing by a neck after a slow start. He has won seven of 16 and earned $1,459,620.

Spotting his rivals from five to eight pounds, Gayego drew post 4 and has the services of jockey Rafael Bejarano for the first time.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who won last year's Triple Bend with Zensational  , is represented by E Z's Gentleman and Sangaree  . Baffert also won the Triple Bend in 1996 with Letthebighossroll.

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, E Z’s Gentleman,  ran a willing second to Cost of Freedom by three-quarters of a length in the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood June 5. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman   has won three of 14, banking $149,711.

Sangaree is cutting back in distance for Darley Stable after consecutive runner-up finishes behind Rail Trip in both the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) and Californian Stakes (gr. II). The 5-year-old Awesome Again   horse and the Mari’s Book mare Mari’s Sheba has won four of 15 while earning $227,110. He is a half brother to 2003 Hollywood Gold Cup victor Congaree  .

M One Rifle, a 4-year-old One Man Army gelding, has misfired in two starts since taking the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Dec. 26. He most recently ran a well-beaten fourth in the Los Angeles.

Bruce Headley, who won the 2008 Triple Bend with Street Boss   and in 1998 with Son Of A Pistol, trains, partially owns and bred M One Rifle along with Ed Bernstein and Brian Greenspan and others. M One Rifle has won four of 10 and earned $392,372.

New Bay, a 4-year-old son of Cuvee, won an optional claimer on June 6 in his first try since being claimed for $50,000 by Mike Mitchell for Little Red Feather Racing April 24. He is 3-for-4 at seven furlongs.

The other entrants are Tiznow winner Fantasy Free, My Summer Slew, who won the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap on turf on June 27, and Bestdressed, second to New Bay by a head last time out.

$250,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I, Race 6, 3:35 p.m.), 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. E Z's Gentleman (KY), M A Pedroza, 116, B Baffert
2. Fantasy Free (CA), O A Berrio, 114, A C Avila
3. M One Rifle (CA), M E Smith, 117, B Headley
4. Gayego (KY), R Bejarano, 122, S bin Suroor
5. Bestdressed (CA), V Espinoza, 114, J W Sadler
6. Sangaree (KY), M Garcia, 116, B Baffert
7. My Summer Slew (CA), A Quinonez, 114, C Dollase
8. New Bay (KY), T Baze, 114, M R Mitchell
 

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