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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap comes our way from Betfair Hollywood Park this Saturday, May 4. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Hollywood Park's main track for their share of the $150,000 purse.
A nice field of seven will line up in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap - race 10 on Hollywood Park's Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all seven combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
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 last time out March 31 in the minor Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita. 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 his win last time out can jump-start what was a promising career. Liaison has not been worse than third in four tries over the Cushion Track.
Blueskiesnrainbows - Jerry Hollendorfer pupil won the Grade 1 Swaps Stakes on July 4 but hasn't been the same since. Last time out was a nice Allowance Optional Claiming score by 3 3/4 lengths March 22 after a pair of second in Allowance Optional Claimings 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 nine months ago but enters in just so-so form.
Guilt Trip - has eight career starts for trainer Bob Baffert with a win as favorite in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes February 2 to follow a good third in the Grade 2 San Fernando in January also at Santa Anita. This followed a pair of fifths in his two previous outings and two straight wins before that. He was a disappointing fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and will be looking to bounce back Saturday.
Tres Borrachos - had his first win since the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap last July two back in an Allowance at Santa Anita February 22. He has placed in four of his last five outings however - a third last time out in the minor Santana Mile Stake March 21 behind Liaison and Midnight Transfer, the Allowance score, a second in an Allowance December 1 to Jaycito and a second in the minor Big Bear Handicap October 21. He has failed to place in his last five graded stakes however - results include a fourth January 5 in the Grade 2 San Pasqual.
Mervyn Leroy Handicap betting at Hollywood Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Midnight Transfer - Carla Gaines trained colt had a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming January 12 after seven months away with a very good Beyer Speed figure of 103. Since then he has been typically inconsistent - a seventh in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes February 23 was followed by a second behind Liaison last time out in the minor Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita March 31. He had a pair of graded stakes starts to end 2012 - a seventh in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in April and a third in the Grade 2 San Felipe in March. Midnight Transfer has three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 10 career starts but has failed to place in his last two graded stakes starts.
Kettle Corn - has placed in 10 of his last 11 starts including a win in his graded stakes debut - the 2011 Grade 3 Native Diver on December 3, a third to Morning Line and Prayer for Relief in the 2012 Mervin Leroy last May, a close second to Game on Dude in the Californian Stakes in June and a third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup July 7 behind... you guessed it - Game on Dude and Richard's Kid. His last five starts have been OK - a third in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 28, a second in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes September 1, a fourth in the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile October 6, an Allowance score November 8 and an OK third last time out in the Grade 3 Native Diver way back on December 1. He has been looking OK but has been away from racing over four months.
Vagabond Shoes - Irish bred gelding raced in North America for the first time in the Grade 2 Arcadia February 2 and finished ninth for trainer John Sadler and followed that with an equally disappointing eighth last time out in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile March 3 at Santa Anita. He had six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 20 starts overseas including a pair of group III wins in France and a third in a group III race in Germany in August.
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