06/24/2010 11:00PM

General Consensus all clear


INGLEWOOD, Calif. − For the first time, General Consensus will start in a stakes that does not include division leader Tuscan Evening. Her absence may be all that General Consensus needs to win her first stakes Saturday in the $100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park.

After winning an optional claimer in January, General Consensus was third in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap in March, second in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap in April, and fifth in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes here last month. Tuscan Evening won all those races, with General Consensus beaten a length to three lengths.

"She seems to be consistent and holding her form," Gallagher said. "She's getting better each time."

The races against Tuscan Evening are likely to make General Consensus the favorite in the Grade 3 Beverly Hills, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf for fillies and mares. The distance is no concern to Gallagher, since General Consensus was beaten a length by Tuscan Evening in the Santa Barbara over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

"She ran well," Gallagher said. "She was right there."

Owned by Sierra Farm, General Consensus will be ridden for the first time in the Beverly Hills by Rafael Bejarano, a replacement for Alex Solis, who now rides in Kentucky. A 5-year-old mare, General Consensus comes from off the pace.

The Beverly Hills has drawn a field of eight; none has won a graded stakes this year.

Princess Haya won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine last fall but has been unplaced in two starts this year. She was seventh in the Gamely. Trainer Carl O'Callaghan said a lung infection was diagnosed after that race.

Restless Soul won the Yerba Buena Stakes at Golden Gate Fields over 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2009, but is winless in three subsequent starts, including a third in the Santa Barbara in April.

Turning Top has won her last three starts, including the restricted Redondo Beach Stakes here June 5. Turning Top starts at 1 1/4 miles for the first time in the Beverly Hills.

"We've been wanting to step her up in distance," trainer Simon Callaghan said. "Hopefully, it will open some new avenues for her."

Pretty Katherine, the winner of an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf May 19, also runs at 1 1/4 miles for the first time.