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Ema Bovary Goes for 10th Straight

June 05, 2004|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

A mare running in Hollywood Park's first race today will be trying to stay one step ahead of Smarty Jones.

Ema Bovary, a Chilean-bred daughter of Edgy Diplomat, already has a nine-race winning streak, which is something Smarty Jones will have if he wins the Belmont Stakes.

Owned by a partnership and trained by Larry Ross, Ema Bovary will be heavily favored to win her 10th in a row against four opponents in the $100,000 Desert Stormer Handicap at six furlongs.

Named for the upset winner of the 1995 Breeders' Cup Sprint, the Desert Stormer is the first of two graded stakes on the local card. The other is the $175,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap, headed by Ticker Tape.

A winner of three of seven races in South America, Ema Bovary has lost only once in the U.S. She finished last after a bad start in the 2003 Richmond Handicap at Golden Gate Fields, but has done everything right since.

She needed help, though, on one occasion. She was awarded the victory in the Kalookan Queen Handicap at Santa Anita last New Year's Eve when Royally Chosen was disqualified and placed second after interfering with Ema Bovary near the wire.

In three subsequent starts, she hasn't been challenged, winning at Golden Gate Fields, Santa Anita and Keeneland. Regular jockey Roberto Gonzalez will ride Ema Bovary, who will break from the inside at her favorite distance. She has won six of seven at six furlongs.

Coconut Girl, who has been second in all three of her starts on the Hollywood Park main track; Jetinto Houston, who hasn't won since Aug. 23 at Del Mar and who will be making her first start for trainer John Sadler; Stormica and Hope Rises will provide the opposition for Ema Bovary.

In the Honeymoon, a Grade II at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, Ticker Tape will be seeking her third win in six U.S. races for trainer Jim Cassidy. Making her first start beyond a mile, she will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux and will be opposed by Amorama, Rather Have Rubies, Shake Off, Lovely Rafaela, Western Hemisphere, the full sister of General Challenge who will be making her graded stakes debut for trainer Bob Baffert; Sagitta Ra and Vencedora Amiga.


Post time at Hollywood Park will be 12:50 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than usual. The track will offer 10 live races, besides the Belmont Stakes.

The first 10,000 paying fans will be given a $2 win ticket on Smarty Jones, which can be cashed if the bettor so chooses. Each ticket has the official Belmont Stakes logo for those who want to keep it as a souvenir.

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