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Monday, December 04, 2006

Notes - Dec 4

- We read the other day about how the Cushion Track at Hollywood was playing fast, and that appeared to still be the case over the weekend. On Saturday, after 20 and 25K claimers went 1:09.1 and 1:15.1 at six, and six and a half furlongs earlier in the card, Sailors Sunset broke a three-day old record for six furlongs by upsetting even money choice Siren Lure and 5-2 Declan's Moon in 1:07.79, taking the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes.

The winner paid $28.80; Bob Mieszerski, in the LA Times, points out that the winning trainer-jockey combo of Marcelo Polanco and Jon Court also struck with 58-1 A Stare And Me on Wednesday, and 12-1 Asian Eyes on Thursday. Sailors Sunset is an interesting improving sort. The only three-year old in the field, it took him six cracks to get out of entry-level allowance company, but since then, he's now won three of four, all stakes, and now a Grade 3. Sailors Sunset is by Petionville, who, interestingly enough, is also the sire of trainer Polanco's 58-1 A Stare and Me the other day.

On Sunday, the Todd Pletcher-at-Hollywood era officially got under way as he saddled his first two winners (and a second) after three prior tries. Both winners were two-year olds who had previously run creditably over the Polytrack at Keeneland; and both were for owner Michael Tabor, whose string at Hollywood is the main reason the trainer is there. Second race winner Ravel (Fusaichi Pegasus) is a $950,000 yearling out of Let, a graded stakes winning AP Indy mare, who was under a snug hold late. Grapelli (Thunder Gulch), graduating in his 5th start, is out of the multiple graded stakes winning Bella Bellucci (French Deputy).

And back in NY, Gary Contessa picked up yet two more winners on Sunday, already giving him nine just since racing switched to the inner track last week.