Eleven distance-loving grass Thoroughbreds will tangle Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, in the Grade II $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, kick-off event of Del Mar’s fall Turf Festival.
Post time for the first of eight races on the holiday will be 11 a.m.
The Hollywood Turf Cup will be the first race in Del Mar history to be contested at the distance of a mile and one-half on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Previously, the longest race over the Del Mar grass was a mile and three-eighths.
The line-up, in post position order, with riders:
Stoney Fleece (Tiago Pereira), Holiday Star (Mike Smith), Finnegans Wake (Victor Espinoza), Mystery Train (Joe Talamo), Patrioticandproud (Corey Nakatani), Irish Surf (Elvin Trujillo), Alakazan Alakazan (Rafael Bejarano), Bench Light (Kent Desormeaux), Little Jerry (Martin Pedroza), Power Foot (Tyler Baze) and The Pizza Man (Florent Geroux).
Finnegans Wake, from the barn of trainer Peter Miller, comes into the Hollywood Turf Cup after a tenth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. Prior to that, the son of Powerscourt was second in the John Henry Turf Cup, fifth in the Arlington Million and won the Arlington Handicap.
Trainer Graham Motion has two entrants in the race, Holiday Star, victor in the Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland in mid-October, and Alakazan Alakazan, a romping allowance winner at Kentucky Downs in September.
Invading from Canada is The Pizza Man, fourth in the Grade I Canadian International and fifth in the Grade I Northern Dancer. Prior to those efforts, he had reeled off five straight victories over grass. The Pizza Man is trained by Roger Brueggemann.