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Byrama prevails in the Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 15. (Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo)

The Grade 2, $200,000 A Gleam Handicap is one of only three Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series races offering an automatic starting spot in the $1 Million Filly and Mare Sprint this fall. That being the case, most of the eight fillies and mares entered will be doing their best to get the brass ring. Leading the octet in terms of recent success at the highest level is Byrama, winner of the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap four weeks ago at Hollywood Park. Reneesgotzip returns from more than six months off, last seen finishing second by a neck in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at the end of December, and brings a perfect three-for-three record on the track into the race. Teddy's Promise is another who has proven herself in top company, winning the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes in January. Book Review won the 2012 La Brea by a neck over Reneesgotzip and returns from five months off probably ready to rumble. Rumor attempts to rebound off a fifth-place effort in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Stakes in May and regain the form shown when winning the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes right before that. Winding Way won the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap last summer at Del Mar in only the third start of her career and, although her fifth-place effort in her comeback race last month wasn't much, she has potential to improve. Conkate and Maker Or Breaker round out the field, both looking for their first in-the-money finish in a stakes race.

Byrama removed blinkers for the first time in last month's Vanity Handicap and won easily by three and one-half lengths with a career best 105 Equibase Speed Figure. Having run the longer distance of one mile and one-eighth in the Vanity, Byrama could have some extra energy cutting back to seven furlongs. Additionally, Byrama has already been proven at this level and distance when missing by a neck in the Madison Stakes this spring at Keeneland. Jockey Gary Stevens, who continues to impress since returning from a seven-year retirement, was riding Byrama for the first time in the Vanity. In the A Gleam, Stevens once again is likely to have the filly in a perfect spot off the pacesetter from the start. As such, Byrama could be very tough to deny in the A Gleam.


Reneesgotzip -Inside -Benoit

Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo

Reneesgotzip returns from more than six months off, but that should not be a problem for this excellent filly who has won five times in 10 races including a perfect three-for-three record at Hollywood Park. When last seen at the end of December, Reneesgotzip battled head-and-head for the lead from start to finish, missing by a neck on the wire to Book Review in the La Brea Stakes at the distance of the A Gleam. Reneesgotzip has been working out in the morning in tremendous fashion for her return to the races. She won the CERF Stakes last summer off a layoff with a career-best 111 Equibase Speed Figure and has every right to pick up where she left off last winter with an "A" effort good enough to win.

Teddy's Promise has won three of her last five races including the Santa Monica Stakes in January at the distance of the A Gleam. One race before that she earned a career-best 104 Equibase Speed Figure winning the Kalookan Queen Stakes. In her most recent effort one month ago in the Desert Stormer Handicap, Teddy's Promise was bottled up on the inside while full of run on the far turn and entering the stretch then attempted to go inside of the leader with insufficient room, resulting in her steadying badly and losing any chance she had to win. With a better trip in the A Gleam, Teddy's Promise is yet another with every right to run well enough to win this race.

The rest of the A Gleam Handicap field (Equibase Speed Figures): Book Review (103), Conkate (100), Maker Or Breaker (102), Rumor (103) and Winding Way (104).

My Selections:



Teddy's Promise


$200,000 A Gleam Handicap

Saturday, Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 8, Post Time 7:35 p.m. ET

Seven Furlongs, Fillies and Mares 3-year-olds and older







Reneesgotzip (KY)

G K Gomez


P Miller


Byrama (GB)

G L Stevens


S Callaghan


Conkate (KY)

E A Maldonado


D F O'Neill


Winding Way (KY)

M Garcia


C Gaines


Teddy's Promise (CA)

V Espinoza


R W Ellis


Rumor (KY)

M E Smith


R E Mandella


Book Review (KY)

R Bejarano


B Baffert


Maker Or Breaker (KY)

C S Nakatani


B Baffert

Blinkers Off: Maker Or Breaker

Image Description

Ellis Starr

National Racing Analyst for Equibase, Fan Education Specialist, Bettor, Magister of Equine Prognostication (Handicapper).

Image Description

Ellis Starr

National Racing Analyst for Equibase, Fan Education Specialist, Bettor, Magister of Equine Prognostication (Handicapper).

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