07/10/2010 7:27PM

Hollywood Park: The Gentlemen is improving


E Z's Gentlemen won his first stakes in Saturday's Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap after finishing second and third in sprint stakes at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park in the spring.

The victory led owner Arnold Zetcher to say that E Z's Gentlemen will be considered for the major sprints of late summer and the fall, including the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in November. E Z's Gentlemen has already won at Churchill Downs this year, in an allowance race over seven furlongs there on May 1.

In the Triple Bend, E Z's Gentlemen stalked pacesetter M One Rifle, took the lead in early stretch and pulled clear to win by 3 1-4 lengths.

Gayego and M One Rifle ran disappointing races. Gayego, fourth in the 2009 BC Sprint at Santa Anita, closed from sixth to finish 4 1-4 lengths behind the winner. The Triple Bend was Gayego's first start since an eighth-place finish in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint in Dubai in March.

M One Rifle, the winner of the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, is a shadow of his former sef. He faded from the lead in the Triple Bend and finished fourth, beaten six lengths. M One Rifle was a well-beaten fourth in the Los Angeles Handicap. Despite that loss, he was the 5-2 second choice in the Triple Bend. E Z's Gentlemen returned $9.80. 

The disappointment in the race wa