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Hollywood’s Turf Festival Kicks Off With Citation Handicap


Betfair Hollywood Park’s Turf Festival kicks off Friday with the Cool Air Stakes and the Citation Handicap (G1).

In the Citation, trainer Mike Pender sends out the two morning line favorites in Florida-bred Jeranimo (5-2), the race’s defending champion, and Ultimate Eagle (3-1), winner of the Hollywood Derby (G1) a year ago. Both runners are owned by B.J. Wright. Jeranimo exits an unplaced effort in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) behind Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom. Also entered in the Citation are Florida-bred Doubles Partner, Data Link, Interaction (ARG) and Temple’s Door, an improving son of Stonewall Farm Ocala stallion Leroidesanimaux (BRZ).

Dayatthespa, one of the marquee names in the Turf Festival, shipped into Betfair Hollywood Park Tuesday and will be entered Thanksgiving morning for Sunday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Matriarch at one mile. The 3-year-old New York-bred daughter of City Zip has reeled off five consecutive victories for trainer Chad Brown, capped by the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup Oct. 13 at Keeneland.  Her temporary home is in the Ron Ellis barn.

“She got in around 5:15 yesterday afternoon,” said George Abreu, Brown’s assistant trainer, on Wednesday. “She shipped fine and everything looks good.  We’ll jog her this morning (9:15 a.m.) and she will gallop Thursday and Friday.”

Juddmonte Farms’ Emulous arrived at Hollywood Park Wednesday, Nov. 14, left the quarantine barn Nov. 16 and is stabled in the isolation barn.  The Dermot Weld trainee, winner of the Group 1 Coolmore Matron in Ireland in 2011, will be ridden by Patrick Smullen.

Weld also will saddle Moyglare Stud Farm’s Speaking of Which, a leading contender for the Grade 1, $250,000 Hollywood Derby.  Runner-up in the recent Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita, Speaking of Which caught the eye of morning line maker and clocker Russ Hudak in a half-mile drill Tuesday.

“Speaking of Which looked real good in the work,” said Hudak.  “He broke slightly behind a (trainer) Carl O’Callaghan runner (Aerial Artist) and finished slightly ahead.  He was under a big hold.”  The work was timed in 49 1/5 seconds and termed  “breezing.”  The Derby will be run at 1 1-4 miles.

Yvonne Jacques’ Grandeur, who edged Speaking of Which in the Twilight Derby, stretched his legs with a five furlong work in 1:01 4/5 six days ago at Santa Anita. Garrett Gomez takes the helm on the Irish-bred son of Verglas.

–Hollywood Park Publicity contributed to this report

Jeranimo/Benoit photo