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2021 Hollywood Gold Cup Field and Odds

Richard Mandella’s Royal Ship, formerly a turf specialist, appears ready for his close-up on dirt, as he heads Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park.

Originally run and won in 1938 by Seabiscuit at Hollywood Park, Monday’s renewal has attracted a field of seven 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one quarter and will mark the 83rd renewal of one of North America’s most prestigious races for handicap division horses.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Royal Ship (BRZ) 5-2 Mike Smith
124 Lbs
Richard Mandella
2 Country Grammer 5-2 Flavien Prat
122 Lbs
Bob Baffert
3 Brown Storm (CHI) 20-1 Umberto Rispoli
122 Lbs
Michael McCarthy
4 Heywoods Beach 5-1 Tyler Baze
122 Lbs
John Sadler
5 Rushie 5-1 Trevor McCarthy
124 Lbs
Michael McCarthy
6 Two Thirty Five 30-1 Abel Cedillo
122 Lbs
Doug O’Neill
7 Express Train 2-1 Juan Hernandez
124 Lbs
John Shirreffs

Prominent among those who will try to deny Royal Ship is the John Shirreffs-trained Express Train, who returns to Santa Anita following a third place finish in the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap and the Michael McCarthy-trained Rushie, who was beaten a nose in the ungraded Oaklawn Mile on April 10.

A 5-year-old gelding who was making only his third start on dirt, Brazilian-bred Royal Ship stalked the pace proved gamest late in taking the Grade II, 1 1/8 mile Californian Stakes by neck on April 17. A Group I winner on grass in Brazil, Royal Ship, a 5-year-old gelding by Midshipman, had been winless in four starts for Mandella prior to the Californian.

In winning the iconic Gold Cup prep, Royal Ship earned a Gold Cup-best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 108 and will hope to stretch his current form to a mile and a quarter-a distance that’s he’s never tried.

Owned by Fox Hill Farms, Inc. and Siena Farm, LLC, Royal Ship is 12-6-1-2 and will be ridden by Mike Smith for the sixth consecutive time.

A rousing 31/4 length winner of the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes three starts back on Jan. 30, Express Train opened up turning for home in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 6, but was overtaken late to be defeated by a half length by Idol.

A 4-year-old colt by Union Rags, Express Train was subsequently made the 9-5 favorite in the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap, but finished third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. Owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable, Express Train, who is 10-3-4-1, rates a huge chance with regular rider Juan Hernandez back aboard.

Rushie, a one mile maiden winner in his second start eight races back on Feb. 1, 2020, has raced out of town in his last four races, finishing second by a nose on April 10 at Oaklawn Park, seventh by 6 1/2 lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland Nov. 7, winning the Grade II Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs by 1 3/4 lengths on Sept. 5 and running third, beaten 8 ¼ lengths, in the Grade II Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on July 11, 2020.

With newly relocated Trevor McCarthy set to ride for the first time, Rushie, a 4-year-old Florida-bred colt by Liam’s Map who will be trying a mile and one quarter for the first time, will run out of his own stall for the first time since finishing third in the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on June 6, 2020. Owned by Jim and Donna Daniell, Rushie is 9-3-2-2 with earnings of $583,151. – US Legal Santa Anita Park OTB is a great way to bet Santa Anita Park racing online. Available to customers across the United States, OTB features Standardbred racing from major racing venues in the US as well as top international racing from Europe, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong.

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