07/11/2013 3:23PM

Hollywood Park: Teddy's Promise just needs a clean trip in A Gleam Handicap


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A younger Teddy’s Promise would have surrendered during a brutal trip in a minor stakes last month at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Never mind that she was the odds-on favorite. Teddy’s Promise does not typically overcome trouble, and there was plenty of it. Trapped and blocked along the rail, Teddy’s Promise steadied at the three-eighths pole and steadied sharply at the head of the lane.

“Last year, if that would have happened, she would have packed it in,” trainer Ron Ellis said.

But at age 5, Teddy’s Promise would rather fight than quit. After being stopped, she re-rallied to finish third in the Desert Stormer, beaten three-quarters of a length by Include Me Out. It was not a career-best effort by Teddy’s Promise, but it was her most courageous.

“It was a pretty big effort,” Ellis said. “And she galloped out in front.”

On Saturday at Hollywood, Teddy’s Promise should be favored again. This time, she figures to get a perfect trip in the Grade 2, seven-furlong A Gleam Handicap. Eight fillies and mares entered the $200,000 race, a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race for the BC Filly and Mare Sprint.

Teddy’s Promise, 9 for 24 and the 122-pound highweight, might have won the A Gleam at the draw. At the very least, she figures for a better trip from post 5.

“There is no speed on the outside,” Ellis said. “They can’t box her in.”

In fact, only one other speed horse entered, Reneesgotzip. but she is stuck on the rail while trying to win her first start since December. Trainer Peter Miller said Thursday that Reneesgotzip was not a confirmed starter.

“Seven-eighths is a question, seven-eighths first out,” he said. “We’ll make a decision [Saturday].”

Teddy’s Promise and Reneesgotzip are among four Grade 1 winners in the A Gleam. La Brea winner Book Review returns from a five-month layoff; Vanity winner Byrama will shorten from nine furlongs to seven.

The other entrants are the graded stakes winners Winding Way and Rumor, along with the allowance-caliber Conkate and Maker Or Breaker. The A Gleam is race 8 on a 10-race card.

With or without the front-running Reneesgotzip, Teddy’s Promise and jockey Victor Espinoza figure to get a great trip. From where she is drawn, Ellis is not worried about pace.

“My filly will relax outside horses,” he said. “Down on the inside, she gets a little frantic.”

Hollywood’s seven-furlong races at this meet have been dominated by front-runners – 16 of the 29 races were won by horses either setting the pace or within one length of the lead after the first quarter-mile. That profile suits Teddy’s Promise in her final start of the summer. She will sit out Del Mar and return for a Breeders’ Cup prep in the fall at Santa Anita.

Winding Way finished fifth in her return from eight months off, a race that trainer Carla Gaines warned she needed. Winding Way also was unusually quiet in the paddock. A Grade 3 winner, Winding Way “has trained with a vengeance” since then, Gaines said.

Byrama returns a month after winning the Vanity. “This filly is incredibly tough; she thrives on racing,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “Some horses need seven or eight weeks. This filly is hard to contain.”

Callaghan said Byrama was likely to run back Aug. 3 in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar, a race expected to attract Include Me Out.

The Grade 3 winner Rumor is racing for the first time since May and should be forwardly placed. Book Review has not started since February.