12/29/2011 1:00PM

Turfway: Hollywood Hit may have class edge in Holiday Cheer


With the racing season having ended at Woodbine in Canada, Peter Redekop was looking for a racing outlet for a few of his synthetic-running steeds.

So Redekop, the Vancouver real estate developer with a prodigious stable, had his racing manager, Brian Anderson, give Wayne Mogge a call at Turfway Park. Mogge had developed a rapport with Redekop after selling him a 3-year-old gelding named Inhisglory early this year, and Mogge was more than happy to fold Hollywood Hit, La Rocca, and Inhisglory into his Turfway barn for the northern Kentucky winter.

Hollywood Hit, the champion sprinter in Canada in 2010, figures to loom a major presence Saturday night when Turfway concludes its holiday meet with the $50,000 Holiday Cheer. The six-furlong Polytrack race drew an oversubscribed field of 3-year-olds and upward.

“You’d have to think on class alone this horse will be awfully tough in there,” said Mogge, a 45-year-old veteran with 26 horses currently in training. “I’ve had him here now about three weeks, and he’s the real deal.”

Rodney Prescott has the mount on Hollywood Hit, a 5-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding with a career bankroll of nearly $620,000, the vast majority of it having been earned over the Polytrack at Woodbine.

Mogge also is being represented in the Holiday Cheer by Taptowne, a two-back winner of a first-level allowance sprint at Churchill Downs.

This is the 24th running of the Holiday Cheer, which was first run in 1989. Western Prospector, trained by Randy Matthews, won the most recent edition when it was run on Jan. 1, 2011.

The Holiday Cheer anchors a 10-race Saturday card which, unlike all the afternoon cards being run this week at Turfway, begins at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. Turfway is offering a variety of ontrack specials in celebration of New Year’s Eve.

The Holiday Cheer is the fifth and last $50,000 stakes of the holiday meet. Mike Maker, who entered the final three-day stretch of the meet (Thursday-Saturday) with a tenuous lead atop the trainer standings, won two of the previous four stakes with fillies La Gran Bailadroa and Lotta Lovin. Maker has Matthewsburg, upset winner of the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint in September, as a viable threat in the Holiday Cheer.

Racing resumes Sunday afternoon with the first program of the winter-spring meet, which runs through April 1. Three dark days follow the Sunday card, with four-day race weeks resuming Thursday, Jan. 5.