06/17/2010 11:00PM

Plenty of contenders in Will Rogers


LEXINGTON, Ky. - If you're looking for a wide-open stakes race to handicap Sunday, you'll love the Grade 3 Will Rogers, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park. All nine of the horses entered show at least one recent performance that is good enough to make them a contender.

Who's Up has had three different trainers during his five-race career, but he has always been highly regarded by his connections. He finished second behind Sidney's Candy at Del Mar in a maiden special race in his debut and then was asked to battle Grade 1 stakes company as a maiden in the Del Mar Futurity. He finished seventh of nine that day, but that didn't discourage him when he switched to turf and beat maiden specials at Oak Tree in his next race. He seemed to be ambitiously placed again when he was entered in the Grade 3 Generous on the grass at Hollywood, but he ran a career-best race when he dueled for seven furlongs and pulled away to win that one-mile race by 1 3/4 lengths.

Who's Up was freshened for four months and moved from trainer Kathy Walsh to the Mike Puhich barn. He faced Sidney's Candy again as a 23-1 longshot in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, but tired and finished ninth of 10. Who's Up took 2 1/2 months off and was transferred to trainer Jorge Periban. It is encouraging to see that he has trained well since his last race. Factor in his return to the Hollywood Park turf course and a rebound to top form would be no surprise.

Hudson Landing settled for minor prizes in four maiden-claiming races and also lost three maiden special races before moving to the barn of Bill Morey. Since then, he defeated maiden specials on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Golden Gate and beat $32,000 first-level optional claimers on turf at that track. He extended his streak to three when he held on to win the $60,000 Alcatraz Stakes on the grass. A similar performance would make him a prime contender.

Macias figures to attract good betting support based on his form while running in stakes company in his last seven starts and based on his connections, with Bob Baffert training for the Zayat Stables. He finished fourth twice and sixth once in three previous Grade 3 stakes races. While he has more stakes experience than any of his rivals, it is a concern that he has been tiring during the late stages of his recent races. He'll probably want to be on or close to the early lead, but the speedy sprinter Ukandoit is likely to carve out a strong pace, so Macias will need to rate at least as kindly behind the leader in this race as he did five races ago in his victory in the Eddie Logan at Santa Anita.

Dream Nettie has been consistent with two wins, two seconds, and a third-place finish from his last five races. He finished second, three-quarters of a length behind Hudson Landing, in the Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate and should be in the thick of contention in this race.

Leroy's Dynameaux hasn't run a bad race yet. This turf specialist beat maiden specials going 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita in his debut. He finished a close second behind Ukandoit at the same distance in an $80,000 first-level optional claiming race and then stretched out to 1 1/16 miles and ran a nice race to finish third, three-quarters of a length behind Hudson Landing and Dream Nettie in the Alcatraz. He's improving and will be dangerous if he continues to move forward.

Bogie is an Irish-bred colt who finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Dream Nettie in the La Puente at Santa Anita in his first U.S. start. He defeated $80,000 first-level optional claimers last time and ran fast enough in both of those races to rate as a serious threat in this field.

Ukandoit has won three straight races. He defeated $80,000 first-level optional claimers in his last two starts. His Beyer Speed Figures have been rising steadily in his three races since his debut. The concern is that he hasn't raced farther than 6 1/2 furlongs, but if he is willing to relax up front as he stretches out for the first time, he'll be a threat to take this field all the way.

Summer Movie was no match for Who's Up in the Generous, but he ran a better race while beating $80,000 first-level optional claimers decisively next time. The catch is that he stopped badly and finished far back last time in the Arlington Classic. He'll race without blinkers on Sunday, and improvement seems likely with two impressive works since his last race.

Camp Victory is stepping up in class, but he is on a roll with consecutive wins against $32,000 first-level optional claimers and open $50,000 claimers. He is also a perfect 2 for 2 on the grass at Hollywood.

I'll give the call to Who's Up with a win bet, and I'll use him on top in the exacta over Hudson Landing, Dream Nettie, Leroy's Dynameaux, and Bogie.