06/26/2012 3:48PM

Hollywood Park: Rail Trip gets more ground; Baffert unveils touted juvenile filly

Benoit & Associates
Rail Trip will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles Thursday in his second start back from a layoff.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A veteran Grade 1 winner trying to regain top form and an exceptional 2-year-old filly making the first start of her career share the spotlight Thursday on an appealing card at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Rail Trip is a 7-year-old gelding with a million-dollar résumé and three graded stakes wins, including the Hollywood Gold Cup.

Executiveprivilege is a $650,000 juvenile with fast works and an optimistic assessment by trainer Bob Baffert: “I think she is pretty special.”

They are favored in races 6 and 8, respectively, and their performances will influence the direction of their campaigns. Trainer Ron Ellis looks forward to Rail Trip stretching to 1 1/16 miles in the allowance, while Baffert wanted a shorter trip than 5 1/2 furlongs for Executiveprivilege. “Five-eighths would have been ideal,” he said.

Rail Trip won eight of his first 11 starts for Ellis, including the 2009 Gold Cup. But soon after finishing second as the 2010 Gold Cup favorite, Rail Trip was unceremoniously transferred to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. in New York. The move backfired, and Rail Trip lost all five starts for Dutrow before returning last fall to Ellis in California.

The first start back for Rail Trip was May 28 in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at six furlongs. It was too short.

“It was a comeback race, and I had no interest in having him ready to sprint with those horses,” Ellis said. “I thought he ran really, really well.”

Rail Trip ran super, finishing an even-paced fourth in a race dominated by speed.

“I liked the way he leveled off and finished,” Ellis said.

He also likes how Rail Trip has acted since.

“He definitely seems stronger and happier,” Ellis said.

With three good works since raced, Rail Trip stretches out Thursday against a good field that includes sharp Classic Legacy and Admission.

Both earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures last out. Based on back class, Rail Trip should defeat them both. Based on recent figures, Rail Trip might be up against it.

“If he’s required to run at 100 Beyer, I don’t know,” Ellis said. “He needs to win to get some confidence.”

Owned by Samantha Siegel, Rail Trip has won eight races and more than $1.1 million. A good effort Thursday under Jose Valdivia would put him on target for the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on July 28 at Del Mar.

Summer at Del Mar also is the target for Executiveprivilege, whose reputation preceded her being named last week by owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman. Yes, she was named in reference to recent political events.

“We named her Friday and entered her Sunday,” Baffert said.

Sired by First Samurai, Executiveprivilege worked a quarter-mile in 21seconds flat at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s April sale of 2-year-olds in training and brought the top price at the sale – $650,000.

Quick in Florida, Executiveprivilege also is quick in Santa Anita works.

“She has a lot of speed, she looks special,” Baffert said before warning “she might get a little tired.”

Baffert would be more confident if the Thursday race was five furlongs, rather than 5 1/2. Her rider is Rafael Bejarano, who had been working race 8 entrant Renee’s Queen for trainer Melody Conlon. Bejarano was expected to ride first-time starter Renee’s Queen, until Executiveprivilege jumped into the picture.

David Flores picks up the mount on Renee’s Queen, a well-regarded After Market filly who is a half-sister to Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes winner Mighty Caroline.

hayduke More than 1 year ago
let's not forget Tempure's debut at Del Mar a few summer's before. (I haven't seen EP's race yet but I heard one of the TVG shills losing control on satradio)
Bamb Ezzy More than 1 year ago
most impressive filly 2y/o debut since Bella Bellucci started at Belmont Park for Drysdale in 05
hayduke More than 1 year ago
let's not forget Tempure's debut at Del Mar a few summer's before. (I haven't seen EP's race yet but I heard one of the TVG shills losing control on satradio)
Lucifer More than 1 year ago
The Conspiracy is quite real..... Please too meet you, can you guess my name.............. Sir Mala Mala the rabbit, take the lead.......
Rosie More than 1 year ago
BIG DEAL-yet another fast sprinter,,,just what the racing industry needs...a sprinter how about putting attention on races OVER a mile!
Mario Santos More than 1 year ago
Rosie, You obviously have no clue. All the 2 year old races early in the season are sprints.
Amy Edwards More than 1 year ago
2 year old races right now are all 5 to 5 1/2 furlongs might want to check your facts before spouting off The article also talked about Rail Trip's coming back in a race at 1 1/16
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
which is why traditional horse players do mess with and don't get excited over 2yr old races this time of the year. I love betting against Rail Trip. This horse never wins whenever he's hooked by another horse.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Executiveprivilege. I love that name, it's really catchy!! It's a great moniker to put on her, Mike, Karl and Paul. She sounds like she has potential and will be exciting to watch. I will keep track of her. She has Rafael Bejarano on her, so that's a plus in her favor. Hopefully, she will bond with him and perform well at his urging. Good luck, Executiveprivilege. And it's nice to see Rail Trip back with Ron Ellis. I hope Rail Trip gets his confidence back as soon as possible, too. I don't know what RD was doing with Rail Trip while training him, but judging by the results of Rail Trip's races with him as trainer, it was obvious Rail Trip was not responding positively, and he lost much of his confidence. Restoring his confidence will definitely help in the pursuits of wins. Good luck, Rail Trip.
B More than 1 year ago
Love the name too. Reminds me of General Assembly, a horse I really liked a lot who had the bad luck of being in the same crop as Spectacular Bid. Nevertheless, he came in 2nd in Bid's Derby and the Marlboro Cup and he still holds the stakes and track record for a mile and a quarter at Saratoga set in the Travers.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the recollections about General Assembly. I'm going to see if there is video on YouTube of his races. I was a tot when the Bid and GA were running, so I have to rely on YouTube to give me the feel of being at the track that day. I'm looking forward to seeing his races.
John More than 1 year ago
Hey "free" the mess with the Attorney General, and the guns into Mexico which caused a Border Agent to be murdered. The Attorney General doesnt want to release the documents to the Republicans, could make Pres Obama look bad, so they said "NO ! EXECUTIVE PRIVILAGE "
stevejPS More than 1 year ago
No John.That's not it. And it's 'Executive Privilege'. It's an option attached to the office of the President. Every President So let's keep this board about our love for horse racing and not get involved with any Tea Party-ish rantings or conspiracism nonsense
Ryan Jones More than 1 year ago
You get a thumbs down from me. At least John answered someone's question.
freecharm More than 1 year ago
"Yes, she was named in reference to recent political events." Pardon my ignorance, but what does that mean? Who/What/Where??? Please.
Edward More than 1 year ago
I don't believe in conspiracy theories but Steve Haskins on the Bloodhorse used some language that indicated he thought the whole thing was a sham just days after the announcement. When asked to clarify by everyone who read the blog, his answer seemed to again indicate that he thought the horse was sound. He is a pretty responsible journalist so he didn't accuse anyone but given the opportunity to distance himself from his previous statements, he did not.
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
Jesse (The Body) Ventura has become a total wack job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you hear the LATEST scoop? Jesse Venturu is in town. He is doing a piece for his show CONSPIRACY THEORY about, I'll Have Another. Rumor has it that the Owner Paul Reddem was furious at Belmont Officals and decided two days before the Belmont, the Horse would NOT run,and it was a done deal to sell to Japan. Doud O'Neil isn't a very good ACTOR when he announced that I.H.A. would NOT run,according to a "Body language EXPERT"...1. Wouldn't you wait untill the Day of the Race to SEE if you Horse was Better? and How was the DEAL from Japan put together so FAST on a "Lame or Bowed Horse????Rumor Paul Reddem WON on both Fronts, while the racing public got CHEATED out of a Historic moment....Go Gettem Jesse....
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Now THIS is what the game needs.... peeeeuuuuuuuooooook!
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
I can tell you the owner and trainer got into a shouting match on Friday early morning before the horse went to the track, that is a fact. I had several trusted people and one barn security gd tell me that directly. Dont know what they were shouting about but that is a fact.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
The O'Neills' Stallion Shares?
James Turner More than 1 year ago
they had a shouting match....three people heard it......yet no one knows what they were argueing about?