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Hollywood Park: This Means War auditions for possible stakes at Del Mar
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – This Means War makes her debut against winners in an allowance race for California-bred fillies and mares at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday evening, a race that will determine how aggressively she will be campaigned later this summer.
Second by a nose in her debut on April 28, This Means War rebounded to win a six-furlong maiden race by a length on May 26. Another win on Friday will have owners John Harris and John Nicoletti and trainer Dean Pederson considering the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for 3-year-old California-bred fillies at Del Mar on July 28.
“If she happens to win, we’d be looking at that,” Pederson said. “If not, she’ll still have her condition. We would like to stretch her out and try the grass. I think that’s what she wants to do.”
By War Chant, This Means War starts from the rail in Friday’s sixth race, which drew a field of seven. Pederson was not thrilled with the inside post for This Means War, who challenged for the lead in her debut and raced from off the pace in her second start.
Joe Talamo was aboard for those races and retains the mount on Friday.
“I think Joe can place her where he wants,” Pederson said. “She’s got some speed herself, but she’s ratable. It gives him options to run away from there and get some position. You’d like to see her stalk and be comfortable. I think she’s better with a little target to run at.”
The two runners drawn on the outside have shown speed – You Can Dream and Roar Baby Roar.
You Can Dream, trained by Rafael DeLeon, won a $20,000 claimer on June 16, racing near the front throughout. Friday’s race will be her 10th start of the year. She won an $8,000 claimer at Santa Anita in January.
Roar Baby Roar, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, has not started since last August. At Del Mar last summer, she was third in the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes in July and second in the Generous Portion Stakes on Aug. 31. In the Generous Portion, she set the pace to the final furlong and was beaten a length.
Harris has another contender in the field in Mary Contrary, a 3-year-old filly by Mizzen Mast. She beat maidens on March 30, but was sixth in a six-furlong turf race on May 17 for trainer Sean McCarthy.
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