Las Vegas, NV -- The Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap comes our way this Saturday, May 5th from Betfair Hollywood Park. Horses three years old and upward will go 1 1/16 miles on Hollywood Park's synthetic track in search of their share of the $150,000 purse.
A strong field of nine, including three former Grade 1 winners will go in the main event on Hollywood Park's Saturday schedule. The major prep for July's $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup is race 10 with a post time of 4:30. Here is a look at the nine entries and their performances ahead of the Mervyn Leroy.
Awesome Gem - is a multiple graded stakes winner that seems to be peaking with two wins in her last three starts - an allowance on April 12th and the Grade 3 Longacres Mile Handicap last August to go along with a second in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita in October. Awesome Gem is in fine form and does have history on this track - she won the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup here in July 2010.
Jaycito - Bob Baffert trained Jaycito endured a long layoff prior to a decent second place finish last time out in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on March 4th. Jaycito finished second at the Grade 2 San Filipe Stakes at Santa Anita back in March and followed that up with a fifth at an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Del Mar prior to her injury. In seven career starts she has one win and four second place finishes.
Morning Line - had an impressive streak of three wins and two seconds back in 2010 including a win at the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby and a second in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile but has fallen on hard times as of late - an 11th last time out in August at the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap and before that a fifth in July at the Grade 3 Salvator Mile Stakes. It was only a year ago however that she won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct and was second in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap.
Prayer for Relief - Bob Baffert trained Payer for Relief most recently finished a very disappointing 12th in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and before that was third in the Strub Stakes and third in the San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita but holds wins at the Grade 3 Iowa Derby, the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and the Grade 2 Super Derby all in the summer of 2011.
Kettle Corn - had an impressive win last time out in the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap on this track in December and has won three of her last four races - two allowance scores to go along with the Native Diver.
Thirtyfirststreet - has four starts this year with just one win - an allowance score on January 12th at Santa Anita. After that was a fourth in the Crystal Water Stakes on January 28th and two eighth place finishes - the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 3rd and the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap in April 1st.
Gladding - finished second last time out in the Santana Mile Stakes on March 18th but before that was a distant 11th in the Santa Anita Handicap. She has raced well in the past in graded stakes races - a fourth at the Grade 3 Ack Handicap in November at Churchill Downs and a second at the Grade 3 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star last year.
Great Warrior - has a win in an allowance race in her only start this year but before that was 12th in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita in October. Great Warrior did win the Pomona Derby in September and finished second before that in the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar.
Honour the Deputy - has two starts in 2012 with a third place finish at the Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita and a fifth in an allowance on March 12th at Golden Gate. In 14 career starts she has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes.
Race 10 on Hollywood Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:30 PM.
||Prayer for Relief
||J. Valdivia, Jr
||Honour the Deputy