11/29/2011 1:07PM

Hollywood Park: La Sombre brings consistency to turf sprint


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Though La Sombre has finished second far more often than she has won, the consistency of her performances, and an advantageous inside draw, make her the one to beat in Thursday’s featured seventh race at Hollywood Park, a six-furlong turf sprint for California-bred females.

The $48,000 race is an optional claimer, for first-level allowance horses as well as runners entered for a $25,000 claiming price. Only the longshot Kahlua Mist is entered for a tag.

La Sombre has performed well on Polytrack, turf, and dirt, with a win and four seconds in her five starts. She comes off a runner-up finish across town at Santa Anita in a dirt race with similar conditions.

But it’s her lone turf race that seems most germane in regards to Thursday’s race. During the summer here at Hollywood Park, La Sombre finished second against open maidens in a turf sprint while breaking from post 11 in a 12-horse field, a terrible draw with the dogleg coming out of the chute.

This time, La Sombre has drawn the rail, and her stalking style should afford her an ideal trip as she searches for her second win.

To prevail, La Sombre will have to beat Miss Sea Cup, who finished third, just one length behind La Sombre, in a Cal-bred allowance race at Santa Anita on Oct. 29. The cleverly named Miss Sea Cup – by Sea of Secrets out of the mare Miss Thirtyfour D – has plenty of upside, having made just two starts so far; she won her debut at Del Mar. This, however, is her first start on turf.

Shesoprovocative was fourth, and Sweet Baguette sixth, behind La Sombre and Miss Sea Cup in that Oct. 29 race.

Platinum Mine comes off a victory in a downhill turf sprint against maidens at Santa Anita, her first win following seven losses. She was second in a pair of turf sprints at Hollywood Park during the summer meeting when launching her career.

Rebecca won a $32,000 claiming race on the downhill course at Santa Anita in her last start, her second win in as many starts on that course. She was third in her only turf sprint here, but was compromised by a poor start that day.

Cactus Flyer was fourth behind Rebecca last time out and was claimed out of that race by trainer Gary Sherlock. She was second in her only start on this course in June.

Pleasing Sunrise has finished in the money in six of her seven lifetime starts. She was second at this condition during the summer meeting here.