A field of eight is entered today at Hollywood Park in the feature race, which includes 3:5 favorite Hyperbaric and female sensation Ventura. If you look at the morning line, you probably did a double take as Ventura is an incredible 15-1 in this Grade One turf race.
Ventura is wonderful horse but she's struggled to beat the boys when she's raced them and today looks to be another tough task as she faces a very strong field of horses in her first race in over 45 days.
In theory, the race sets up well for the closer Ventura but the first problem is that the horse on the lead, Hyperbaric, is cutting back in distance and should have no problem with the eight-furlong race.
In his last four races in California, Hyperbaric has won all four and looked sharp in all of them. Breaking from the rail, Hyperbaric should be able to get to the front and dictate the race despite speed from both Storm Military and Thorn Song.
As usual, the pace of the race will really influence the outcome. If Hyperbaric is able to run mild splits for two, four, and six furlongs, he should be in very good shape to hold off the late chargers. If the pace is pushed by the longshots running with Hyperbaric, the closers will have a distinct advantage.
Hyperbaric should be in complete control despite any fractions until they turn for him and that's when I expect to see a big move from both Ventura and Whatsthescript. Dixie Chatter is another closer but the additional weight in this race will really hurt him, so I'm going to leave him out.
The last two furlongs should be filled with action as Hyperbaric will be trying to hold off the two speedy closers. Ventura should go off at least 10-1 and it's the sort of value that you really can't pass up but I don't think she will get it done today.
Whatsthescript will just catch Hyperbaric at the wire and win his third race in four career starts at Hollywood. Hyperbaric will hold off Ventura by less than half a length for second and the remainder of the field will be a few lengths behind.
This should be a great race.