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Lava Man to take on top weight

Times Staff Writer

When Native Diver won his third Hollywood Gold Cup in a row in 1967, the magnificent California bred carried 123 pounds while defeating, among others, Pretense and Biggs.

Lava Man, who will try to match Native Diver’s feat when the Gold Cup is run for the 68th time on Saturday at Hollywood Park, will be asked to carry one more pound.

Coming off his first loss in California in nearly two years in the Charlie Whittingham Memorial Handicap on June 9, Lava Man was given top weight of 124 pounds for the 1 1/4 -mile Gold Cup. It is the same impost he carried in the Grade I in 2006 when he prevailed by a nose over 24-1 shot Ace Blue as the 3-5 favorite.

Seven other older horses are considered probable for the Gold Cup, topped by Mervyn LeRoy winner Molengao. Second to Lava Man in the Santa Anita Handicap in March, Molengao will carry 120 pounds.

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Among those also expected to enter Wednesday morning are My Creed (117), A.P. Arrow (116), A.P. Xcellent and Wilko (115), Big Booster (113) and Mr. Splash (112).

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Lady Gamer picked up where she left off in her first start of 2007 in the $76,450 Valkyr Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Perfect in two races over the Cushion Track last fall, the 4-year-old Game Plan filly remained unbeaten on the synthetic surface, leading throughout at 7-1 in the Valkyr, a race restricted to California bred fillies and mares.

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Ridden by David Flores, Lady Gamer won by 2 1/4 lengths over 2-5 favorite Getback Time while completing the six furlongs in 1:09.86.

The win was the fourth in eight starts for Lady Gamer, who is owned by breeders Clark and Janine Hansen and trained by John Sadler.

“She was a little tired after those races last fall, so I told the owners to give her a vacation,” Sadler said. “We turned her out and she’s come back strong.”

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A little more than two weeks after Rags To Riches became the first female to win the Belmont Stakes in more than a century, Emma Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win the $1-million Queens Plate at Woodbine in Toronto.

Wilson directed 15-1 shot Mike Fox to the historic victory, getting up in the last strides to nail pacesetter and 16-1 outsider Alezzandro in the 148th running of the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

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Carters Cartel, the 6-5 favorite, won for the fourth time in five starts Saturday night at Los Alamitos, setting a track record in winning the $1.13-million Ed Burke Memorial Futurity.

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Carters Cartel, who is trained by Jaime Gomez for owner-breeder Double Bar S Ranch LLC, defeated Eye For Corona by half a length in 17.179 for the 350 yards.

The clocking, under jockey Alejandro Luna, beat the track record of 17.22 set by Corona Chick on Oct. 16, 1991.

bob.mieszerski@latimes.com


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