After leading all trainers at Oak Tree with seven stakes wins, Richard Mandella will try to win the first of Hollywood Park's autumn meet today.
Mandella, who did most of his winning in Arcadia on Breeders' Cup day, will send out Gentlemen's Club in the $70,000 Bien Bien, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.
Owned by R.D. Hubbard and Connie Sczesny, Gentlemen's Club made a successful grass debut coming down the hill at Santa Anita last month. A 6-1 shot, he beat Parkers Storm Cat by a head going about 6 1/2 furlongs.
Against six rivals, the gelded son of Gentlemen will try two turns for the first time in the Bien Bien, a race named in honor of the multiple-stakes winning horse who ran a decade ago.
The co-high weights, at 119 pounds, are White Buck and High Descent, but trainer Bobby Frankel has the ones to beat in Special Rate and Royal Price.
A half brother to Sightseek and Tates Creek, Special Rate will be trying turf and two turns for the first time. Royal Price broke his maiden in his U.S. debut for owner Michael Bello on Oct. 19.
Race of the day: Saarland, who has won three of his five starts at Aqueduct, is among eight older horses set to run 1 1/8 miles in the $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap. John Velazquez will ride the 4-year-old Unbridled colt for owner Cynthia Phipps and trainer Shug McGaughey. The field also includes Thunder Blitz, who is two for two at Aqueduct, and Justification, who has four local victories.
One for the road: Souvenir's Of Old looks to have the best early speed in the field and may be long gone from his outside post in today's fourth at Golden Gate Fields. Joey Castro will ride the 3-year-old Souvenir Copy gelding for trainer Greg Gilchrist and the blinkers go on for the first time.
Exotically speaking: A pick three using Centerpiece in the first, Sutter Street, Blue Afleet and Akamai in the second and Smart Lacy and Sophisticatedbluff in the third.
Winners (final totals for Oak Tree): Previous day/meet total: 6/86. Money: Previous day/meet total: $30.80/$472.20. Total money bet: $556.