Race Preview: Citation Handicap - Hollywood Park, November 29, 2013

Profile Picture: Matt Carter

Matt Carter

November 29th, 2013

The Fall Turf Festival is in full swing on Friday with the 36th running of the Grade 2 Citation Handicap for three-year-olds and upward going eight and one-half furlongs. The $250,000 race drew a field of eight led by morning line favorite Silentio.

Silentio could not have been training any better leading up to a start in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita earlier this month, but when you run into Wise Dan, a second or third seems like winning. Silentio finished a length and one-half behind Wise Dan and just three-quarters of a length behind the second place finisher Za Approval. Silentio will be making his first start on the Hollywood Park turf and must prove that he can run the same race outside of Santa Anita. Gut feeling is, he can and he will need to if he is to win against a salty group of turf horses.

Winning Prize is 7-2 on the line and is coming off a fourth place finish behind Silver Max and Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf (moved to Polytrack after rain) Mile. The Argentine-bred son of Pure Prize made his U.S. debut in August and was much the best, winning an allowance race by a widening four lengths. He was a multiple Grade 1 winner in his native country, but could get into a speed duel with the fast Bright Thought, who ran tenth in the Breeders' Cup Mile off an eight month layoff. Prior to the layoff; however, Bright Thought won the Grade 2 San Luis Rey at Santa Anita.

Co-third choices in the Citation are Summer Front for trainer Christophe Clement and the John Sadler-trained He Be Fire N Ice. Summer Front has won two of four starts this year, both coming in graded stakes. He won the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap at Calder in April then the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger in August at Monmouth Park.

He Be Fire N Ice was a viable long shot place in the Breeders' Cup Mile, but never got a call and finished seven lengths behind the race winner. He is two-for-three over the Hollywood Park turf and should get a decent pace to run into. His second place finish two back in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile would be good enough to win on Friday. He Be Fire N Ice will need to be more fire to run down the favorites.

Carded as race seven on the nine-race card, post time for the Citation is 6:30 pm ET.