07/11/2013 2:47PM

Hollywood Park: Juvenile Championship has unproven starters

Shigeki Kikkawa
Willie B Awesome was second in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The custom of winning a maiden race with a 2-year-old and then advancing to a stakes is being challenged this weekend at Betfair Hollywood Park.

In Saturday’s $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship, four of the seven runners in the Grade 3 race at six furlongs are maidens, and three are first-time starters – Bond Holder, Carson’s Ten, and Knock Em Flat.

They must beat two runners with stakes experience – Willie B Awesome and Solid Wager, who were second and third, respectively, in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes on June 15.

For trainer Jeff Mullins, who starts Knock Em Flat, the prize money of the Juvenile Championship is too big to pass.

“The race didn’t look that tough, and it’s double the purse of a maiden special weight at Del Mar,” Mullins said.

For that reason, Mullins advised owners Michael House and Sam Britt to supplement Knock Em Flat to the Hollywood Juvenile Championship for $3,000 when entries were taken on Wednesday.

Knock Em Flat, by Flatter, was purchased for $350,000 by House and Britt at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2-year-olds in-training sale in April. In recent weeks, Knock Em Flat has worked steadily, including three works from the gate since June 15.

“His last few works have been good,” Mullins said.

Bond Holder is trained by Doug O’Neill for Paul and Zillah Reddam. A colt by Mineshaft, Bond Holder was purchased for $125,000 at the OBS March sale. The distance of the Juvenile Championship appealed to O’Neill.

“I think six furlongs makes it good for him,” O’Neill said. “He acts like he wants to run farther than the standard five-eighths maiden race that has been offered so far.”

Carson’s Ten drew the outside post. By Rock Hard Ten, Carson’s Ten is owned by breeder Joseph Lacombe and trained by Mike Puype.

Ontology, also owned by Reddam and trained by Simon Callaghan, is another maiden in the Juvenile Championship, and he was a game second to Alpine Luck in his debut on June 22. Alpine Luck made his debut that day and is part of the Juvenile Championship field.