11/09/2010 2:39PM

Treat Gently to take on males in Hollywood Turf Cup

Four-Footed Fotos
Treat Gently, winner of the Sheepshead Bay at Belmont in May, will be the only female in the Hollywood Turf Cup.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Treat Gently, a three-time group or graded stakes winner, will be the lone female in Saturday’s $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.

The Grade 1 Turf Cup is run over 1 1/2 miles, which trainer Bill Mott said is an ideal distance for Treat Gently.

“A mile and a half is her trip,” Mott said.

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Treat Gently has won two graded stakes this year, including the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes over 1 3/8 miles on turf at Belmont Park on May 22. She was fourth against males in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic over 1 1/2 miles on a yielding turf course at Belmont Park on Oct. 2, her most recent start.

In the Turf Cup, Treat Gently is expected to face at least three other 2010 stakes winners – expected favorite Bourbon Bay, Marlang, and Temple City – and Buenos Dias, Unusual Suspect, and Where’s the Remote, who are graded stakes-placed this year.

Temple City will start on turf for the first time since a second in the Grade 2 American Handicap here in July. He was last of eight in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in Chicago on Oct. 2.

“Forget about it,” trainer Carla Gaines said of Temple City’s last start. “It wasn’t his track.”

Gaines said there were indications before the race that Temple City might run poorly.

“For such a really big strong horse of incredible substance, he lost weight,” Gaines said. “He exhibits so much personality in the barn and he was really quiet. It was unlike him.”

Comma to the Top may try Futurity

Comma to the Top may start in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 18 after a front-running win in Saturday’s Real Quiet Stakes.

A former maiden claimer, Comma to the Top has won three consecutive races, but the Real Quiet Stakes was his first start around two turns, at 1 1/16 miles. The race was worth trying, Miller thought, with many of the circuit’s leading juveniles at the Breeders’ Cup.

“The worst case scenario was we had a sprinter,” Miller said.

Instead, Miller wants to try Comma to the Top in tougher company in the CashCall Futurity. The gelding has won 4 of 8 starts for a partnership that includes Gary Barber. “He’s really brave on the lead,” Barber said.

Comma to the Top lost two stakes races at Del Mar in the summer – finishing fourth in the Best Pal Stakes and sixth in the Del Mar Futurity – before winning a starter allowance and allowance race at Golden Gate Fields in October by a combined 10 lengths.

Miller thought the Northern California races helped boost Comma to the Top’s confidence.

“I think it was immaturity, as far as putting together a complete race,” Miller said.