07/30/2008 11:00PM

Hollendorfer has 3 in wide-open Grace


SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Although the race lacks the headliner name it had in recent years, when it carried a $100,000 purse, Saturday’s field for the $50,000 Joseph Grace Handicap is a good one for the betting public.

There is plenty of depth in the field, which includes last year’s second- and third-place finishers, Eager Pharisien and Saratoga’s Magic. All seven runners in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up are based in Northern California.

Saratoga’s Magic, one of three runners from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn, comes into race off a solid win in the Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton. That race came on dirt, and Saratoga’s Magic should be sharp and ready to roll for the Grace on what may be his better surface.

Putmeinyourwill, also trained by Hollendorfer, fell a neck short of Saratoga’s Magic at Pleasanton. He should enjoy a good stalking trip in the Grace.

Our Partner rounds out the Hollendorfer trio. He scored a pair of allowance victories earlier this year, but will be hard-pressed to get his first stakes victory.

Pass the Heat was the narrow second choice in the Alamedan when fifth behind Saratoga’s Magic and Putmeinyourwill. Although his lone stakes victory was on the dirt, he is a son of Unusual Heat, and like many of that sire’s offspring prefers the turf. He won on this course last year.

Yacht Spotter is a neck away from four consecutive victories. He won a first-condition allowance level and an optional claimer in his last two, going wire to wire both times. He’ll contest Saratoga’s Magic for the lead and has the advantage of being drawn outside him. He defeated Saratoga’s Magic in his last start.

Eager Pharisien hasn’t won since January 2006. He hasn’t raced in six weeks, and wound up preparation with a solid mile workout on the main track here.

Cover Magic scored back-to-back turf victories earlier this year.