06/20/2011 2:12PM

Presque Isle Downs: Hollywood Hit ready this time


Hollywood Hit comes south of the border from Canada to face seven other older colt and geldings in the $100,000 Karl Boyes Memorial at Presque Isle Downs on Wednesday evening.

Trained by Anita Bolton, Hollywood Hit won 3 of 5 starts last season, all over synthetic surfaces. The 5-year-old gelding won the grade 3 Vigil at Woodbine last season and finished second, beaten a half-length in the grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland when sent off as the favorite. In his lone start this season, Hollywood Hit finished a well-beaten fourth in the grade 3 Vigil on May 8. Bolton is not concerned at all with that loss, however.

“He just really gets nervous in his first start of the year – he just had an off day. He got off a step slow and was just not his self.” Bolton said.

Hollywood Hit had two bullet works going into the Vigil and has had two bullet works since, making Bolton think her charge is back to his old self.

“I am very happy with the way he has been training, and that is all you can ask, I think he is coming into the race nicely, and my only concern would be if he doesn’t ship well.” Hollywood Hit will be shipped from Woodbine to Presque Isle Tuesday. “He shipped to Keeneland last year, and he handled it well and ran well. He doesn’t have to travel quite so far this time, so I don’t think it will be an issue.” Bolton said

There is an abundance of speed in the 5 1/2-furlong Boyes Memorial, but that does not concern Bolton either. “He has matured over time in his old age.” she chuckled. “He doesn’t have to have the lead anymore, and he has become more versatile. He used to go as fast as he could for as long as he could – not anymore, though.”

Hollywood Hit will carry just 113 pounds including jockey James McAleney, getting as many as 11 pounds from his rivals.

“I don’t know how much difference it makes, but I do know I can’t complain and would much rather be getting than giving.” Bolton said with a laugh.

Essence Hit Man is another Canadian invader and has faced Hollywood Hit previously, as recently as their last out in the Grade 3 Vigil where the Audre Cappuccutti trainee finished second, beaten three lengths in the seven-furlong event after leading early. The turn back to 5 1/2 furlongs should suit the speedy son of Speightstown well. Patrick Husbands will ship in to ride.