Updated on 09/17/2011 11:35AM

Gamely draws only six, but talent runs deep


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The depth of talent in the $350,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap on Monday at Hollywood Park has limited the field to six starters.

Not many outsiders would be willing to take on fillies and mares such as the Grade 1 stakes winners Dublino and Dress to Thrill; the remarkable Group 1-winning Argentine import Miss Terrible; or Megahertz, Sentimental Value, and Tates Creek, all stakes winners.

Despite the small field, there is no standout in the turf race over 1 1/8 miles. Only Sentimental Value did not win a stakes in her last start, and she was third in the Grade 3 Citgo Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Dublino, Dress to Thrill, and Tates Creek share top weight of 122 pounds, but they enter the race under vastly different circumstances.

Dublino, who won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last August, launched her 4-year-old campaign with a win in the Wilshire Handicap on April 27. She is the likely favorite.

"I really like the way she made that jump physically from 3 to 4," trainer Laura de Seroux said. "She showed she's a bigger, stronger version of herself."

Dress to Thrill won the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes last December, while trained by Dermot Weld, but she has not started this year. Turned over to Christophe Clement during the winter, she was entered for the Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap on April 26 but was scratched when the race was taken off the turf because of wet weather.

Dress to Thrill arrived at Hollywood Park from Clement's stable at Belmont Park on Friday. Clement warned that Dress to Thrill may need a start to be at her best. "It's a tough spot to bring her back, in a Grade 1," Clement said. "I've got to start somewhere.

"I would have preferred to have had a prep race. I didn't see anything in the East, and the Gamely was always part of the plan. She will improve from the run. I didn't train her to have her at her peak this weekend."

Tates Creek is one of three starters trained by Bobby Frankel, all of whom are coming off wins. Tates Creek won the San Gorgonio Handicap at Santa Anita in January, her third consecutive win. At the time, Frankel said she would be saved for Hollywood Park, with the focus on winning a Grade 1 race.

"Hopefully, she's ready," Frankel said.

Frankel also starts Megahertz, who won the Santa Barbara Handicap, and Miss Terrible, the winner of seven consecutive Group 1 races in Argentina. Either is capable of winning the Gamely.