The Brock Talk

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hollywood Gold Cup Features Battle Of The Sexes

Kent Desormeaux had more to celebrate than the Fourth of July last weekend after winning the grade 1 American Oaks on Gozzip Girl at Hollywood Park Sunday and the grade 3, $250,000 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park in New Jersey on Coal Play Saturday.

The New York based jockey will try to keep his hot streak alive Saturday when he is expected to be aboard 119-pound highweight Parading in the grade 1, $700,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.

Not only will he be trying to keep his own streak alive, but will try to guide Parading to his third consecutive graded stakes victory after taking the grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland in April and the grade 2 Dixie Stakes (photo) at Pimlico on Preakness Day in mid-May. Parading is trained by Shug McGaughey at his base in New York and said part of the reason for shipping to California was the consistently rainy weather in New York this Spring. The 6-year-old son of Pulpit is having a year consistent with a late bloomer as he never started as a 2-year-old, only started twice the next year and had an 11-month vacation before returning to the races at Keeneland in April just before the Ben Ali. He has won 7 of 17 races and has earned $405,046 in his career.

While Rachel Alexandra continues to scare away her female rivals on the East Coast, Zenyatta has forced her stablemate Life Is Sweet to switch divisions in California and challenge the boys in the Gold Cup.

Life is Sweet dominated the filly and mare division in Southern California before Zenyatta returned to defeat her in the grade 2 Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park in May. Before that she won consecutive races in the grade 2 El Encino Stakes, the grade 2 La Canada Stakes in Feb. and the grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes during the first three months of 2009 at Santa Anita. Farret Gomes will ride Life is Sweet.

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