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Bayakoa Handicap; Who Will Prevail, 3 Or 4 Year Olds?

2013 Bayakoa Handicap (GII); Who Will Prevail, The 3 Year Olds Or The 4 Year Olds?

The 2013 Bayakoa Handicap is held annually in the first week of December at Betfair Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California. The race is open to filles and mares 3 years-old and up racing 1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs) on the Cushion Track vying for a purse of $150,000.

The 2013 Bayakoa Handicap is set for this Saturday, December 7th with a start time of 4:05 pm PST and is the 8th race of the day.

Inaugurated in 1981 as the Silver Belles Handicap, it was raced at a distance of 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs) through 1989 and at 8.5 furlongs since 1990. The race was renamed the Bayakoa Handicap in 1994 in honor of U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Bayakoa. On December 7, 1997, Sharp Cat won the Bayakoa Stakes in the first walkover in the history of Hollywood Park Racetrack. The speed record (at current distance 8.5F) is held by Briecat 1:40.38 set in 2008. Three fillies have the most wins with 2 each: Manistique (1998,99), Starrer (2001,2002) and Star Parade (2003,2005). Most wins by a jockey are 5 by Chris McCarron and most wins by a trainer are 5 by John Shirreffs.

Fiftyshadesofhay Bayakoa Handicap 2013

Despite finishing third last out as the odds-on choice in the Indiana Oaks on October 5th, the 3 year-old daughter of Pulpit, Fiftyshadesofhay, looks to tote top weight here Saturday. She gets post #3 and Martin Garcia in the irons for the 2013 Bayakoa Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Well, it looks like the youngsters are ready to roll as six of the ten fillies and mares lined up here are 3 year-olds and all but one drew posts 1 to 5 with Charlie Em sitting in post #8 with her elders. I like two horses in here to win, one is a 4 year-old, the other a 3 year-old.

The 4 year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid Customer Base, who is trained by Tom Proctor, last out came in third on the turf going a mile in the (GII) Goldikova Stakes where she saved ground chasing the pace of Egg Drop & Miss Pippa, went between horses around the second turn scraped the paint along the fence into the stretch and was game at the wire in third. She is a turfer by trade and has graded stakes experience. Customer Base returns to a synthetic surface for the first time since trailing in the 2012 Hollywood Oaks. She has a race record of 17:4:3:2 and has been training at Betfair Hollywood Park for two months straight. On December 3 she worked 4F on the poly going 48.60, 12/43 and prior to that worked 5F in 1.00.80, 6/23 on November 26th. Customer Base exits post #10 with A. Gryder in the saddle.

Despite finishing third last out as the odds-on choice in the Indiana Oaks on October 5th, the 3 year-old daughter of Pulpit, Fiftyshadesofhay, looks to tote top weight here Saturday. She gets post #3 and Martin Garcia in the irons. All of her races have been on the dirt except her maiden win back in November, 2012 where she won on this track going 1 1/16. The Bob Baffert trained filly is the 2013 Black Eyed Susan Stakes winner (GII) last May at Pimlico and has two other (GIII) wins this year plus a solid 2nd to Princess of Sylmar in this year’s Alabama Stakes (GI) going 1 1/4 on August 17th. On December 1, Fiftyshadesofhay worked 5F at Santa Anita on fast dirt in :59.40 2/26.

Charm The Maker a nice 4 year-old filly out of Empire Maker and trained by Ronald McNally was a close second in the Hollywood Starlet two years ago and a troubled fourth in the 2012 Bayakoa. She won two starts back in the Adoration at Del Mar going a mile on the synthetic on September 1st. Most recently she was a gamely third at Santa Anita on the turf at a mile in the Swing Time Stakes on October 5th. After a rough 2012 she took some time off from February of this year until this fall. She is another gal with a long race record on the turf and I like her as a long-shot in here. She’ll bolt from gate #9 with R. Bejarano for the mount.

Fiftyshadesofhay and Customer Base are my top two picks in this race. I’m going to go with the elder here in Customer Base for the win for the Bayakoa Handicap. I like how she’s been training at Betfair and seeing as I just turned 50, I’m hoping the elder here can nab the win. I’m feeling really vulnerable for some reason in this race, especially going against the two Hollendorfer gals. However, I’m going to stick to my guns here and not think too much. I hope Charm The Maker can rally here and get back into form. If I wager this weeks, l will probably play this race by using it in a leg of a pick 3 with the Hollywood Starlet and the race in-between. Good luck to all of the fillies and mares running and to their connections.

Related Links:
2013 Hollywood Starlet Stakes
What to Wear To Betfair Hollywood Park

Post Positions & Odds for the 2013 Bayakoa Handicap
1. Magic Union 12/1 M.Guiterrez/J.Sadler
2. Warren’s Veneda 9/2 J.Talamo/C.Lewis
3. Fiftyshadesofhay 9/5 M.Garcia/B.Baffert
4. Spellbound 8/1 V.Espinoza/R.Mandella
5. Broken Sword 8/1 J.Rosario/J.Hollendorfer
6. Champagneandcaviar 20/1 C.Sutherland-Kruse/G.Mandella
7. Curvy Cat 12/1 M.Pedroza/J.Hollendorfer
8. Charlie Em 15/1 C.Nakatani/P.Gallagher
9. Charm The Maker 5/1 R.Bejarano/R.McAnally
10. Customer Base 6/1 A.Gryder/T.Proctor SCRATCHED
UPDATED RESULTS: 5, 3, 2, 6, 7, 4, 1, 9, 8

History Lesson: The great Argentine Bayakoa is Fort Larned’s granddam, his mother is the mare Arlucea. Bayakoa has handsdown one of the most impressive racing records I’ve seen. With 39:21:9:0. Wowzers. Before they retired her in 1991, she was also a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 1989 and 1990.