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Hollywood: Rising Legend makes U.S. debut in Generous
By Jay Privman
INGLEWOOD, Calif. − Rising Legend arrived in California a month ago with the hope of running in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, but he landed on the also-eligible list for that race and did not draw in. His local debut was delayed until Saturday, when he runs in the Grade 3, $100,000 Generous Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, and his new connections are hoping the wait was worth it.
Rising Legend, a British import, won two of six starts in his native land – most recently a handicap at Doncaster on Sept. 15 – before being privately purchased by trainer John Sadler on behalf of owner Kosta Hronis.
“He’s a lovely horse. He’s done nothing wrong since he’s come over,” Larry Benavidez, Sadler’s top assistant, said Thursday morning. “The lad who shipped over with him said he had shipped better than any of the Europeans who came for the Breeders’ Cup. You always worry that a horse might bounce after they come over from Europe, but he hasn’t missed an oat, and he’s worked well.”
The Generous, at one mile on turf for 2-year-olds, drew a field of 10. Sadler won the race last year with Stoney Fleece, and he’ll take two shots at this year’s race. In addition to Rising Legend, he will also send out Under Review, who like Rising Legend is a new arrival to the barn, having been privately purchased following two starts at Arlington. He came with a big, big rush, but late, against allowance runners there Sept. 29.
“He’s a 2-year-old that closes and runs long − a big, good-looking dude,” said Benavidez, who was minding the store on Thursday while his boss took a Thanksgiving vacation. “We’re hoping he’ll get even better as he gets older and runs longer.”
The Generous, race 5 on the 10-race card, kicks off a pick six that has a guaranteed pool of $150,000. Players probably will have to use several horses to feel comfortable. Among the other obvious contenders are Den’s Legacy, second in his two grass starts, and Shining Copper, a close fifth in the productive Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.
Den’s Legacy returns to a one-mile race after finishing second to Gabriel Charles in a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Before that, he was second to Gervinho in the Zuma Beach at Santa Anita.
The aptly named Shining Copper, a handsome chestnut gelding, has been freshened since Del Mar, where he was only 1 1/2 lengths behind Power Broker, the subsequent winner of the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes at Santa Anita.
Tree of Life moves to the turf after a tough trip at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Futurity, in which he drew an outside post and never could save ground. In an attempt to get him into the race earlier, trainer Craig Dollase is adding blinkers.
“He’s been real slow out of the gate, so we’re hoping he’ll break better and be more forwardly placed,” said Dollase, who said the turf “is the big question mark.”
“He gets over the ground like a grass horse does,” Dollase said. “We’re going in optimistic that he’ll run well.”
There is little obvious pace in the Generous, so front-running Dancin Upside Down, third in the Zuma Beach last time out, will be the one to catch.
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