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Hollywood Park: Rousing Sermon heads strong allowance cast
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – For all that Rousing Sermon has accomplished he is light on career wins.
In 16 starts, Rousing Sermon has one stakes win (the 2011 California Cup Juvenile), finished second or third in seven stakes and earned $534,248. He won for the third time in his career in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on April 14 and will be favored to win another optional claimer at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday.
If he succeeds, the 4-year-old colt may run in a major stakes this summer, possibly the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 6.
The win at Santa Anita on April 14 ended an 11-race losing streak, since the Cal Cup Juvenile in October 2011.
“It seems to have boosted his confidence to win a race,” said Dan Ward, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s assistant.
Rousing Sermon is part of a strong field of nine in Friday’s sixth race, and will start on Hollywood Park’s synthetic track for the first time since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes last summer. Earlier in his career, he was second in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity here.
“On this track, all his races have been good,” Ward said.
Eighth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, Rousing Sermon is a closer who should have a pace to follow thanks to Batti Man and the Oaklawn Park import Congenial.
They face a field that includes Jaycito, the winner of the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes in 2010 who is entered to be claimed for $62,500; Dreamy Kid, who won the 2011 Swaps Stakes; and Soul Candy, who won the 2010 California Cup Classic.
Dreamy Kid did not start for more than 17 months because of a cannon bone injury, trainer Neil Drysdale said. He was sixth in his comeback in an optional claimer on turf at Santa Anita on March 31.
“We’re looking for an improvement,” Drysdale said. “He likes this track. He’d been away for a long time.”
Jaycito was last of eight in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita on March 23, and makes his first start for a claiming price.
“He’s dropping in grade and dropping back to the correct surface and a better distance,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “He’s a bit of a character, but he’s training good and I think he can run better.
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