Treat Gently faces the boys in the Hollywood Turf Cup
The one who would benefit most greatly from a victory here from a purely commercial standpoint is the field’s lone female, TREAT GENTLY (GB) (Cape Cross [Ire]), who has been shipped west from her Belmont Park base by trainer Bill Mott. A Group 2 winner in France, she ended the European portion of her racing career with solid efforts in the 2008 Prix Vermeille (Fr-G1) and Prix de l’Opera (Fr-G1). Though disqualified from third and placed 12th in the Vermeille, the more telling statistic is that she crossed the wire only 2 1/2 lengths behind the brilliant Zarkava.
First with the late Bobby Frankel before moving to the Mott barn, the Juddmonte Farms homebred has endured a U.S. campaign that could be accurately characterized as a mixed bag. While victories in the Sheepshead Bay S. (G2) and Robert G. Dick Memorial H. (G3) this past summer were most welcome, discouraging performances in races like the E.P. Taylor S. (Can-G1), Santa Ana H. (G2) and Jenny Wiley S. (G2) are also part of her post-importation story. She enters off a rough-trip fifth in the Beverly D. S. (G1) and a fourth against males in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1).
The pace of the Turf Cup should be amply provided by MARLANG (Langfuhr), course-and-distance winner of the Sunset H. (G3) during the spring/summer meet, and TEMPLE CITY (Dynaformer), the Cougar II H. (G3) hero coming off a tossout-like attempt in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2) on dirt. His record on grass is considerably better, which includes near-misses in the American H. (G2) in July and in last year’s Del Mar H. (G2).
WHERE’S THE REMOTE (Unbridled Native), a close second two back in a similarly weak Grade 1 called the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship, can probably be forgiven for coming up empty at 2-5 in a four-horse allowance during the Oak Tree meet that was taken off the turf. One who seems to get every kind of slice except the biggest, UNUSUAL SUSPECT (Unusual Heat) has reached the winner’s circle only once in his past 17 starts. He’s hit the board, however, in races like the California Cup Classic, Cougar II, Sunset, San Juan Capistrano Invitational H. (G2) and San Luis Obispo H. (G2) this season.
BUENOS DIAS (Ire) (Peintre Celebre) and WORTH REPEATING (Giant’s Causeway), the longshot second and third in this year’s renewal of the Del Mar H., are joined by the allowance class BIG SHOT SYD (Chapel Royal) in completing the field of a race that once offered a winner’s share of the purse greater than its total present value.