Hollywood Turf Cup could be Flamboyant

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Alastair Bull

November 22nd, 2017

Flamboyant hasn’t won for 21 months, but his form is as good as any of his rivals in the 1 ½-mile Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar Nov. 24.

The former French galloper won two consecutive graded stakes races at Santa Anita in early 2016. He hasn’t won in 11 starts since, but his form has been consistent.

At his last start he finished third to Bullards Alley in the Canadian International (G1); prior to that he finished third in the Del Mar Handicap (G2) Aug. 19 and fourth in the American Stakes (G3) July 4.

Just behind Flamboyant in the Del Mar Handicap was Prime Attraction, who takes him on again here. He had mostly run on dirt until being switched to turf three starts back; though he hasn’t won, his efforts include the Del Mar Handicap fourth-place finish and a runner-up slot in the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Oct. 1.

Another one with claims based on that form is Inordinate, who finished fifth in the Del Mar Handicap and fourth in the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes.

Infobedad could be an interesting runner. He hasn’t started on turf since February 5, but he ran very well in the 1 ¾-mile Marathon Stakes (G2) on the first day of the Breeders’ Cup carnival, beating all but Destin. Stamina will not be a problem.

Entered to take on the boys is the good mare Lottie, who heads west for this race. Lottie this year has finished second to Estrechada in the Aug. 5 Waya Stakes (G3) and third in the Oct. 22 Dowager Stakes (G3) behind Apple Betty. She is also entered in the Red Carpet Handicap (G3) on Nov. 23.

Chicago Style and Tequila Joe both have winning form at Del Mar to recommend them, while Manitoulin heads west after winning three allowances but struggling in graded stakes company this year. Prime Attraction’s stablemate Prince of Arabia, ninth in an allowance last month in his first start in six months, completes the field.

Flamboyant deserves to be favorite but his form isn’t a great deal superior to Prime Attraction and Inordinate. Infobedad will be a contender if he handles the turf, and don’t dismiss Lottie if she starts.