Las Vegas, NV - Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California will be the scene of the Grade 2 Californian Stakes this Saturday June 1. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/8 miles on Hollywood Park's main track in search of the winner's share of the $150,000 purse.
The Californian has attracted a field of seven for race 8 on Hollywood Park's Saturday card. Post time is 4:35 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all seven combatants for this Grade 2 stakes which represents the final prep for the $500,000 Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup.
2013 Californian Stakes Race Favorites
Liaison - Liaison entered the competitive Travers Stakes in August in a bit of a slump - zero wins in seven starts - he finished a distant ninth in that race and then endured an eight month layoff. He last tasted victory the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity for trainer Bob Baffert on December 17, 2011 before breaking that slump March 31 in the minor Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita and he followed that with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap last time out on this track May 4. He was considered a serious contender for last year's Kentucky Derby and finished sixth then had a third place finishes in the Grade 2 Swaps and Jim Dandy Stakes last summer. He is highly regarded and hopes are that he can keep his two race win streak going. He's won three of five over Cushion Track and hasn't been worse than third over the surface and will be looking to become the first horse since 2010 to win the LeRoy and Californian in the same year.
Kettle Corn - has placed in 11 of his last 12 starts. Last time out was a second to Liaison in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap here May 4 after a third in the Grade 3 Native Dancer Stakes December 1 and an Allowance score also here November 8 - his only win in the last 18 months. He finished second in this race last year and also had two consecutive wins on this track at the end of 2011 including the Grade 3 Native Diver. Kettle Corn has three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in his last seven starts on this track and could be a factor Saturday.
Californian Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries
Blueskiesnrainbows - Jerry Hollendorfer pupil won the Grade 1 Swaps Stakes on July 4 but hasn't been the same since. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy as 2-1 favorite on this track May 4 to follow a nice Allowance Optional Claiming score by 3 3/4 lengths March 22 and a pair of seconds in Allowance Optional Claiming to start his 2013 campaign. He ended 2012 with a fifth in an Allowance in December after a very disappointing seven in the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in September. Blueskiesnrainbows hopes to get back to the form that saw him win the Swaps 10 months ago but enters in just so-so form. He has three wins on Hollywood Park's main track and will be looking to rebound from his off-the-board finish last time out.
Clubhouse Ride - enters The Californian having an incredible five straight runner-up finishes. Last time out was in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 20 at this distance behind Game On Dude after the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 2, the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes in February, in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes in December and an Allowance Optional Claiming on January 10. He has been knocking on the door for sure and is ready to break out. He has just three wins, eight seconds and eight third place finishes in 27 career starts. He's winless in six starts over Cushion Track, but has been second or third on four occasions.
Californian Stakes betting at Hollywood Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Batti Man - Argentinean bred gelding raced in stakes company for the first time and finished an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup March 23 after nine Allowance Optional Claiming and a Claiming race in North American produced three seconds and a third place finish. He had two wins and two third place finishes in four starts at home before shipping to North America but is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track May 17.
Holladay Road - last raced in graded stakes company in April 2012 - a third place finish in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap here. He raced two straight minor stakes races at Del Mar in the summer and was fourth in the California Dreamin' Handicap and third in the Harry F. Brubaker Stakes. Last time out was a fifth in the minor Tiznow Stakes on this track April 27 after six months away and a sixth in the minor Lava Man California Cup Classic at Santa Anita in October. He has seven wins in 20 career starts for trainer Julio Canani.
Oilisblackgold - had a couple of OK showings in graded stakes action in 2011 but has focused on Allowance Optional Claiming races since - seven straight yielded two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. Her stepped up last time out and registered a very nice second behind Sky Kingdom in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita March 23 to re-emerge on the graded stakes radar. He has just three wins in 25 career starts but two of them have come in his last four starts with that good second last time out.