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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Hollywood Derby comes our way this Sunday November 25 from Betfair Hollywood Park. Three year olds will go 1 1/4 miles on Hollywood Park's turf track as they chase the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
An enormous field of 14 plus one alternate entry will go in race 9 on Hollywood Park's Sunday card. Post time is 4:35 PM. Here is a brief glance into past performances of all 15 and what brought them to this lucrative Grade 1 race.
Golden Ticket - has two wins, three seconds and a third place finish in seven starts this year with the most impressive result being a win in that dead-heat in the Grade 1 Travers two back. Other good results include a second in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10 ahead of Bourbon Courage and Hansen, a win in a Maiden Special Weight before that at Gulfstream on February 2 and an OK third last time out in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby behind Handsome Mike. He makes only his second start on turf Sunday.
Handsome Mike - has two wins in 11 career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita in October and out of nowhere in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby two back. Last time out was a rather disappointing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Handsome Mike had a string of three fourth place finishes before her latest score - the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway back in March, the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth and the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes August 18 at Arlington Park. He is tough to figure out but his in the Pennsylvania has opened a few eyes.
All Squared Away - had a very impressive win in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes on April 21 at Keeneland to follow up a sixth in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway in March. Since then All Squared Away has posted a pair of fifths - at the Marine Stakes May 12 and an Allowance Optional Claiming July 21 and a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes. His last four starts have been equally inconsistent - a Allowance Optional Claiming score August 12 at Del Mar was followed by a seventh in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby September 2, a terrible twelfth in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby and a fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby November 2 on this track. He has been shaky at best lately but has show that he isn't afraid of top competition.
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Summer Front - started with three wins and a second in his first four career starts but has cooled slightly since. Summer Front finished an impressive second in his graded stakes debut in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes on April 21 and followed it up with a rather disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes on May 12. Summer Front won two straight this summer - the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes and the minor Duluth Stakes but has a pair of thirds in his last two outings - the Grade 1 Secretariat and the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap. He is terrific on grass and could be one to watch Sunday.
Lucky Chappy - had a couple of good results under his belt in Grade 3 events in North America after starting his career in Europe - a third in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in October and a second in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate in February. Lucky Chappy raced March 31 - a seventh in the Grade 2 U.A.E Derby at Meydan Racecourse before returning to North America where he has a second in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby on July 21, a third in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga and a disappointing seventh last time out in the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park September 22. He is a sneaky entry for the Hollywood Derby and could contend this Sunday.
My Best Brother - wired the second division of the Oceanside recently by two lengths to follow up two other wins - a Maiden Special Weight and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Hollywood Park. He was second by a nose to Old Time Hockey in the Grade 2 La Jolla three back but came on to win the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby September 2. Last time out My Best Brother was a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby here November 2. He has three wins and a second in the last five starts - My Best Brother is yet another intriguing horse to watch out for this Sunday.
Smart Ellis - will be making his fifth start this year and eighth career start. Smart Ellis opened the year with a second in an Allowance at Santa Anita, took six months off and returned to a score in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar July 20. His last two starts have resulted in a distant eighth two back in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby and an OK third last time out in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby on this track .
Unbridled Command - has won four straight races ahead of the Hollywood Derby including the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes two back and the minor McMahon of Saratoga Mohawk Stakes last time out - that is two wins in two career stakes races for another one of the intriguing names to watch this weekend.
Rjwa - Irish bred filly has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in eight career starts overseas. Sunday marks her North American debut after a fifth last time out in a Group 1 Stakes at Longchamp October 7 and an OK third in the Group 1 French Oaks in June.
Big Bane Theory - has just three career starts for trainer Carla Gaines with two wins - an Allowance last time out and a Maiden Special Weight before that. He takes a huge step up in competition Sunday but certainly enters in good form.
Power Foot - finished fourth in the Oceanside at Del Mar in July in his fourth career start and has gone on to a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby and a sixth last time out in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby here November 2.
Speaking Of Which - Irish bred colt made his North American debut last time out and was second in the Grade 2 Twilight. He has been in the money in all five career starts - two wins, two seconds and a third place finish.
General Logan - has four career starts for trainer H. Graham Motion and three straight wins heading into the Hollywood Derby - two Allowance and a Maiden Special Weight score.
Grandeur - Irish bred gelding made his North American debut last time out and won the Grade 2 Twilight Derby on this track November 2 in impressive fashion. He has won three of his last four starts and has to be on the Hollywood Derby radar.
Groovin' Solo - is the alternate entry with eight career starts and only one win to show for it - a Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita December 30.
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