Ten Things You Should Know: A Gleam Handicap
1) The A Gleam Handicap is a race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, run at the sprint distance of seven furlongs. The race at Hollywood Park in California is a qualifying race for the Breeders’ Cup with the winner earning a spot in this year’s BC Filly and Mare Sprint.
2) In 2007, Maryfield, the eventual winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, finished second in the A Gleam.
3) Run for the first time at Hollywood Park in 1941, the race was originally named the Sequoia and renamed for the filly A Gleam in 1979. A Gleam, the daughter of Twilight Tear, won five stakes races at Hollywood Park in 1952, including the Hollywood Oaks against 3-year-old fillies, the Milady Handicap against older fillies and mares, and the Westerner Stakes (now the Hollywood Derby), where she beat colts.
4) The A Gleam has been a graded stakes since 1973 and was upgraded from Grade 3 to its current Grade 2 in 1990. From 1959 to 1982 and in 1944, it was run at a distance of six furlongs but has been at seven furlongs for every other running in its history. It has been open to older fillies and mares with one exception, in 1944, when it was restricted to 2-year-olds.
5) In 1946, a 3-year-old filly named Honeymoon, owned by movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, won the fourth running of the race (it was not run in 1942 and 1943 because of the Second World War). Evita Argentina is the only other 3-year-old to win the race in its history.