As detailed on the blog yesterday, the Hollywood Gold Cup is a race that has built up a storied history and legacy over its 71 prior runnings. The 72nd edition will be run on Saturday at Hollywood Park with a purse of $500,000 being offered to its eight participants, which includes the defending champion, Awesome Gem. Here is the analysis:
My top pick in the Hollywood Gold Cup is likely the same as everyone else's, #1 Twirling Candy. Joel Rosario has the riding assignment for trainer John Sadler. This colt has started three times in 2011, winning twice. The only loss came in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap after what could only be classified as a roughly-run stretch drive. He won the Grade 2 Strub and the Grade 2 Californian in his other two performances. He is three for four over the cushion track at Hollywood Park. He worked seven furlongs on July 2, covering the distance in a blazing 1:25. For second, I will go with a California-bred, #6 Soul Candy, who has not won since the California Cup Classic in October 2010. He has run five times since then with two thirds and three fourths on the resume'. However, he ran fourth in that Grade 2 Californian won by the top pick and makes the second start off the most recent layoff, an angle I like. Garrett Gomez will be at the controls here. Chantal Sutherland rode #4 Game On Dude to an upset win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5 and this will be the first time they are paired up since that win for the Bob Baffert trainee. Game On Dude finished behind Awesome Gem in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap, but ran an excellent race under difficult conditions in the Grade 3 Charles Town Classic the time before that. This gelding has been working well lately, it should be noted. I will put the defending champion here, #5 Awesome Gem, in the fourth spot. His lone victory since winning here last year came in that Lone Star Park Handicap. He ran a decent second in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows last time out. David Flores was up for the win in this race last year and returns to the saddle again on Saturday. Here is the play for the Grade 1 $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup:
$2 EX 1 with ALL
$1 TRI 1 with 3-4-5-6 with ALL
Currently, the blog is MINUS $750 for the year. Yes, we made a $2 profit last week, which triggered mass celebrations. Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!