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Native Diver Handicap; It’s A Hollendorfer Triple For Moi

2013 Native Diver Handicap (GIII); It’s A Hollendorfer Triple For Moi

The Native Diver Handicap is a (GIII) stakes race run in early December at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. The race is run at the distance of 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs) for horses 3 years-old and up with a purse of $100,000 on the Cushion Track. This year’s edition takes place on Saturday, December 14, 2013 and is one of three stakes races this weekend that caps off the last of the stakes races at Hollywood Park which is set to close on December 22, 2013.

The 2013 Native Diver Stakes is the 7th race of the day on a card of 10 and is set to post at 3:35 pm PST.

Native Diver 2013

The Native Diver is named for one of the great sprinters and certainly one of California’s most beloved horses, Native Diver, pictured above in 1967, ranks # 60 in Blood-Horse magazine “List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century.” This year’s edition takes place on Saturday, December 14, 2013 and is one of three stakes races this weekend that caps off the last of the stakes races at Hollywood Park which is set to close on December 22, 2013.

Begun in 1978, the Native Diver is in its 35th running this year. The race is named for one of the great sprinters and certainly one of California’s most beloved horses, Native Diver, who ranks # 60 in Blood-Horse magazine “List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century.”

In the 2008 edition, Slew’s Tizzy set a new Hollywood Park track record for 1 1/8 miles with a winning time of 1:46.78. In 2012 the Native Diver Handicap was won by Bob Baffert and Game On Dude.

The 4 year-old Lucky Pulpit/Awesome Again/Rousing Again colt Rousing Sermon comes in here off a win in the On Trust Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on November 24th going 7 1/2F on the Cushion. The Hollendorfer trainee prompted the pace, ran 4 wide into the backstretch, then 3 wide into the turn for a strong finish. Prior he was second at Santa Anita going a mile on the dirt in the Big Bear Stakes on October 31st. His race record is 23:5:5:6. On December 8th he posted a 4F workout in :48.60, 11/28 and on December 1st he worked 4F in :49.00, 22/63 both at Betfair Hollywood Park. He will be stretching out here from post #8 with R. Bejarano up again to ride.

Hear The Ghost, the Ghostzapper baby trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is back after coming in 2nd, off an eight month layoff due to injury, in an optional claimer at Betfair Hollywood Park on November 7th run at 6 1/2F. This was his first race after winning the San Felipe (GII) at Santa Anita on the dirt going 1 1/6 miles on March 9, 2012. He was sidelined from the 2013 Triple Crown Trail with a knee injury after that race and looks to be back in good form here. He’s won twice in four starts and recently worked 5F at Betfair in 1:01.40, 15/28 and prior on November 29th he posted a 6F work in 1:12.80, 1/14. Hear The Ghost leaves post #9 with Nakatani to ride.

This will be the first start for Blueskiesnrainbows since the 4 year-old son of English Channel finished a strong second in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Marathon. Also trained by Hollendorfer, his race prior he posted a win on September 22nd at Fairplex on the dirt going 1 1/8 miles. Two of his wins have come at Betfair Hollywood Park, incuding the (GII) Swaps Stakes in 2012 when he was trained by Bob Baffert. He has a race record of 21:5:3:3 and has six works on the poly since his November 1st race. On December 10th he worked 5F in 1:02.00 18/29 and on December 4th he breezed 6F in 1:13.20 2/9. Blueskiesnrainbows has the services of M. Pedroza in the irons and breaks from post #1.

Looks like I’m going for the win in the 2013 Native Diver Handicap with Jerry Hollendorfer. Seriously, how can you go wrong with picking these three to hit the board? I think Rousing Sermon and Hear The Ghost have the best chance of the three. I’ve been waiting for Hear The Ghost, after his injury earlier this year, to score huge. He’s my sentimental pick. I could see them sending Blueskiesnrainbows out from the rail and if he takes the lead, he could be setting it up for his brother’s from another mother (and father) to win. Setsuko is scary off such a long layoff and a great trainer. If I play this I will probably do a pick 3 with this being the first leg and using all four #1,4,8,9. Good luck to all of the runners, safe run.

2013 Native Diver Handicap Post Positions & Odds
1. Blueskiesnrainbows 8/1 M.Pedroza/J.Hollendorfer
2. Fire With Fire 15/1 J.Talamo/N.Drysdale SCRATCHED
3. Slim Shadey 15/1 (GB) E.Maldonado/S.Callaghan SCRATCHED
4. Setsuko 7/2 V.Espinoza/R.Mandella
5. Drill 8/1 M.Smith/B.Baffert
6. Soi Phet 4/1 J.Rosario/L.Powell
7. Mobilized 12/1 G.Stevens/G.Mandella
8. Rousing Sermon 3/1 R.Bejarano/J.Hollendorfer
9. Hear The Ghost 4/1 C.Nakatani/J.Hollendorfer
UPDATED RESULTS: 1, 9, 8, 5, 6, 7, 4

Related Links:
Hollywood Turf Cup
What to wear to Hollywood Park
CashCall Futurity Stakes

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