11/14/2012 4:01PM

Hollywood Park: Smith replaces Bejarano on Executiveprivilege

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mike Smith will ride Executiveprivilege in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes.

Mike Smith will ride Executiveprivilege when she starts in the $500,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Dec. 8, replacing regular rider Rafael Bejarano.

Trainer Bob Baffert said on Wednesday that some leading mounts in his stable will be spread around to other riders. In recent months, Baffert has extensively used Bejarano. In the Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3, Baffert and Bejarano were winless in four races as a team, including with two favorites.

Executiveprivilege finished second as the favorite to Beholder in the BC Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 2. The following day, Game On Dude was seventh as the 6-5 favorite in the BC Classic, losing any chance for a Horse of the Year title.

Baffert said that Game On Dude will start in the $250,000 Native Diver Stakes at Hollywood Park on Dec. 1, but was not sure who would ride the 5-year-old gelding.

“Rafael is still our go-to guy,” Baffert said. “We use Martin [Garcia], too. There will be changes but not in a dramatic way.”

Earlier this year, Garcia and Baffert had a falling out after a successful run in the early months of the year. Garcia did not ride for Baffert from mid-May until mid-July. Friday at Hollywood Park, Garcia rides Baffert’s lone runner, Saturday Nite Ride in the race against Eblouissante.