Hollywood Turf Cup 2014 at Del Mar

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California will be the scene of the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes on Thursday, November 27. Horses three years old and upward will take to Del Mar's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles for a purse of $250,000.

A field of 10 will take to the track in the Hollywood Turf Cup - race 7 on Del Mar's Thanksgiving Thursday card. Post time is 2:00 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 11 entries for this Grade 2 stakes.

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2014 Hollywood Turf Cup Race Favorite Entries

Holiday Star - H Graham Motion trained gelding has 13 career starts with four wins, two seconds and a third place finish. He has two wins, two seconds and a third in his last five starts overall including an impressive win last time out in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 16. Before that were consecutive seconds - the listed PTHA President's Cup Stakes at Parx September 13 and the restricted John's Call Stakes August 6 which followed a third in the minor Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware Park July 12 and an Allowance score in May. His only two graded stakes results were a ninth and an eighth place finish back in 2013. Holiday Star is definitely trending upward, is in the best form of his career and leaves from post 2 with Mike Smith aboard - he replaces the retired Rosie Napravnik.

The Pizza Man - impressive gelding had been on fire before a fifth as favorite in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 14 and a fourth in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International last time out October 19. Before that result was five straight stakes wins including the minor American St. Legere Stakes August 16, the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes July 12 and the minor Black Tie Affair Stakes in June - all at Arlington to go along with two minor stakes scores to end his 2013 campaign. The Pizza Man has 12 wins, a second and a third place finish in 19 career starts and looks to bounce back from a pair of uncharacteristic performances. Florent Geroux gets the call from the outside post.

Hollywood Turf Cup 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Alakazan Alakazan - has nine career starts for trainer Graham Motion with two wins, a second and two third place finishes. He has just one graded stakes start in North America - a sixth in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile in April and has concentrated on Allowance company since. He is coming off a 2 1/4 length Allowance score September 17 at Kentucky Downs after a second, a fourth and a third in similar races this summer. Alakazan Alakazan hopes to break through in stakes company Thursday with Rafael Bejarano in the irons from post 7.

Finnegan's Wake - Peter Miller trainee has three win, three seconds and three third place finishes in 23 career starts and is coming off a career worst effort - a tenth at 58-1 odds in the Breeders' Cup Turf. That followed a win in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap in July, a fifth in the Grade 3 Arlington Millions in August and a second in September in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 28. He's be a bit tough to figure out but will have Victor Espinoza guiding him from post 3 - looking for a little consistency.

Irish Surf - recorded a terrific win July 25 on this track - by 8 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap but went on to consecutive fifths - the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on this track in August and the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship in September before bouncing back last time out with a respectable second in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon at Santa Anita October 31. He has 21 career starts with three wins, two seconds and has also been a tad difficult to figure out the last four months. Irish Surf will have Elvis Trujillo aboard from gate 6.

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Mystery Train - arrived from Argentina and promptly finished ninth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 24 and followed that with a sixth in his only other North American start - last time out in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes September 27. At home he had 19 career starts with eight wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. His last start at home came in May when he won his third straight race - the other two being Group 1 races in his native land. Mystery Train hasn't been good here but will hope that jockey Joe Talamo can find a little magic aboard the 126 pound highweight from post 4.

Patrioticandproud - Mark Casse trainee won the minor Toronto Cup Stakes in July 2012 and has been up and down since. Last time out was an OK second in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon Stakes at Santa Anita three weeks ago after a second and a fourth respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races on this track. He has placed in three of seven graded stakes starts but looks for his first score in top company and his first win overall since April 2013 when he lines up in post 5 with Corey Nakatani riding him.

Bench Light - has 25 career starts with seven wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut August 23 and finished second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap and followed that with a sixth in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship last time out September 28. He won three of his last five starts earlier this year including an Allowance Optional Claiming by 6 1/4 lengths and a pair of Claiming races in the spring at Santa Anita. Bench Light will have Kent Desormeaux guiding him from gate 8.

Little Jerry - enters on a two race Allowance Optional Claiming win streak - the last coming on this track November 8. He has failed to place in his two graded stakes starts however. Little Jerry has 10 starts this year with two wins, two seconds and a third place finish - in OK form ahead of his step up in competition. Martin Pedroza has the call from post 9.

Power Foot - has 17 career starts for trainer Neil Drysdale with just three wins and three third place finishes - just one win in four starts this year. He has failed to place in his last three starts including a ninth in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in February. He looks for his first on-the-board finish in graded stakes company Thursday from gate 10 with Tyler Baze in the reins.

Stoney Fleece - has 35 career starts with eight wins, seven seconds and eight third place finishes but Thursday marks his graded stakes debut. He has 10 starts this year with two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes - his last win came in an Allowance Optional Claiming seven starts back. Stoney Fleece makes an enormous jump up in competition Thursday with Tiago Josue Pereira in the saddle.

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