Last updated: 4/27/13 10:01 PM
|Surf Cup got the win in the Snow Chief
Donald R. Dizney’s Surfcup was sent off the 5-1 third choice in Saturday’s
Chief, the featured event on Hollywood Park’s California Gold Rush Day, but
held off both Fighting Hussar and even-money favorite Tiz a Minister to earn his first victory in
style and give jockey Rafael Bejarano his third win on the day.
Bobo set the pace in the nine-furlong contest restricted to California-bred
or -sired sophomores while tracked every step of the way by Surfcup. That bay
son of Unusual Heat took over while three wide in midstretch, and had enough
left to keep Fighting Hussar from creeping up to his inside and Fighting Hussar
from blowing past in his late rally from last down the center of the track.
“He had never run on this track and I just tried to get him comfortable in
the race,” Bejarano explained. “He was real relaxed in the beginning and when
(Fighting Hussar) came running at the end, my horse gave me a big kick.”
Surfcup stopped the clock in 1:50 4/5 to add a first stakes win to his
record. The three-year-old ran third in the California Breeders’ Champion to
begin the year and was fourth in the Echo Eddie in his most recent start on
March 30. The winner’s share from the Snow Chief increased his earnings to
$275,800 and he now sports a 6-3-0-1 career mark.
“He broke well and he was sharp
early. He was on it right out of the gate and Rafael just let him run,” stated
Mike Marlow, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. “It was
kind of a surprising race, really. We always thought he likes the turf, but this
gives us options. His only bad race was his second start, which was sprinting.
He’s definitely a two-turn horse.”
|Doinghardtimeagain scored a
hard-fought victory in the Melair
In the sister race to the Snow Chief, three-year-old filly Doinghardtimeagain
lived up to her name, and her 3-5 favoritism, with a hard-fought win in the
$245,000 Melair. The Jerry Hollendorfer pupil finished up in 1:43 2/5 for 1 1/16
miles on the Cushion Track.
“We had a good trip, we got lucky and won it. Very nice effort,” Hollendorfer
said. “At this point, I don’t
know what her best distance is. It looks like she can run any distance. We’ll
look at some options and go from there.”
Bejarano allowed the Ministers Wild Cat filly to settle into
third as Sweet Marini set the pace through splits of :24, :48, 1:12 1/5 and 1:36
4/5. That duo, plus Unusual Way sandwiched between, raced in tandem around the
turn but quickly separated themselves. Sweet Marini
was tenacious on the inside, forcing Doinghardtimeagain to work for every bit of
ground as she slowly inched away in the 1 1/4-length victory.
“They went a little slow the first part and I was hoping they would pick it
up down the backstretch. Nobody was really making a move by the half mile so I
decided to make a little move to put some pressure on,” Bejarano described his
ride. “I really thought (Sweet Marini) should have beaten me because she was
going so slow. But my filly is a real professional. I’m just glad I moved when I
“I had an absolutely
perfect trip, no excuses. She just got outrun,” said Sweet Marini’s jockey, Joe
Talamo. “The fractions were just what we were looking for. It was only the third
start of her career and first time going long so I’m definitely not down on her.
The horse that beat her is a nice filly.”
Doinghardtimeagain has made a name for herself against state-bred stakes
competition, taking the Soviet Problem as a juvenile and Evening Jewel last out
while placing in the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Tommy Town Thoroughbreds
homebred also ran second in the Sweet Life against open fillies, and now boasts
$483,770 in lifetime earnings from an 8-4-3-0 scorecard.
|Kate’s Event (yellow hat)
came running down the center of the track to take the Tiznow
William H. Ziering’s homebred Kate’s Event rallied under urging from Bejarano to take the $125,250
Tiznow by a half-length while four wide on
the wire of the 7 1/2-furlong event. Giving Hollendorfer and Bejarano a second
win after taking the Melair one race earlier, the six-year-old veteran posted a
final time of 1:29 1/5 as the 4-1 third choice.
out great,” Bejarano said. “I knew I was going to come from behind and I was hoping they’d be
going a little faster early. When I saw my horse was relaxing so well, I just
decided to wait.
Kate’s Event made his stakes bow in this spot, which was only his fourth try
over Hollywood’s Cushion Track. The bay son of Event of the Year has compiled a
6-2-1 mark from 16 starts, and the winner’s share from the Tiznow boosted his
earnings to $317,190.
“I thought he ran
sensational last time and he came right back and duplicated that race,”
Hollendorfer remarked. “He had an
injury a while back but he’s back in top form now. It helped that (even-money
favorite Mel’s Game)
didn’t have anywhere to run. We’ll look at some of the stakes here down the
|Curvy Cat took full
advantage of the scratch of early-morning favorite Teddy’s
Promise in the B. Thoughtful
Tommy Town Thoroughbreds captured two stakes on Saturday with a homebred when
Curvy Cat took the $126,000
B. Thoughtful by a length over 2-1 favorite Ismene.
Corey Nakatani was aboard the Hollendorfer filly, who finished up 7 1/2 furlongs
in 1:29 3/5.
“It worked out pretty
well. Anytime you get a chance to ride for a Hall of Famer (like Hollendorfer) you know the horse is going to run tremendous,”
Nakatani said. “He had her spotted
and ready to go and I am thankful I was given the chance to ride her. I was
confident if the leader (Ismene) didn’t get too far in front, my filly would run
her down. When I got to her she had a little left and my filly had to dig down
deep to beat her.”
“I had a lot of horse
left, but you know (Hollendorfer) is hot today,” Bejarano shrugged. “He’s a very good trainer and his
horses have been running very good. I had an opportunity to win the race. I had
a very comfortable trip, but the best horse beat me. It might have been a little
too far for her.”
Curvy Cat earned her first stakes win in the B. Thoughtful following a
sixth-placing in the Irish O’Brien on March 17 and a third-placing in the
Paseana Handicap to start the season in January. The four-year-old daughter of
Ministers Wild Cat also shows a third in the Skillful Joy from December, and now
owns a 7-4-3 line from 15 races and $241,373 in lifetime earnings.
“In the beginning of
the meet I think it helps if a horse has been training here,” Hollendorfer noted
before adding, “Anytime I can win a
race in Southern California I love it. It’s a little tougher here than in most
places. When Teddy’s Promise was scratched, I think that bolstered everybody’s
confidence a little bit because she was definitely the horse to beat. We’ll see
about finding more spots for her here.”
|Hail Mary powered home an
easy winner of the Warren’s Thoroughbreds
Nick Alexander’s homebred Hail Mary found no challenges in the $70,500
Warren’s Thoroughbreds, taking command from the start and drawing of in the
stretch for a 9 3/4-length victory. Julien Leparoux had the call on the Mike
Mitchell-trained sophomore miss, who completed seven furlongs in 1:22 3/5.
Hail Mary earned her first stakes in this spot, having run second in the
Evening Jewel in her stakes bow on March 30. Prior to that, the chestnut
daughter of Old Topper broke her maiden by 4 1/2 lengths in her January 26 debut
and finished third in a state-bred allowance just two weeks later. She’s now
banked $120,560 to go along with her 4-2-1-1 mark.
Harris Farms homebred and Iconic Thoroughbreds’ Super Ability similarly wired
Memo later on Saturday’s card. Trained by Carla Gaines and
ridden by Martin Garcia, the five-year-old gelding was 2 3/4 lengths clear on
the line while stopping the teletimer for seven furlongs in 1:22 4/5.
|Super Ability lived up to
his 2-1 favoritism in the Grey Memo
Like Hail Mary, Super Ability only competed three times prior to the Grey
Memo. The Langfuhr chestnut was fourth in his debut last July at Hollywood,
finished second in his seasonal bow at Santa Anita and finally broke his maiden
on April 7 at that Arcadia, California, track. He improved his record to
4-2-1-0, $90,1000, with this first stakes win.
Also on the card, E. W. & Judy Johnston and Cherry Hawk Stables’ Celebrity
Status stalked for the opening half-mile in the $60,750
NTRA for maiden colts
and geldings before grabbing the lead and pulling off the 6 1/4-length score
with Tyler Baze in the irons. The dark bay gelding stopped the clock in 1:16 4/5
for the 6 1/2-furlong maiden test. Trainer Donald Warren has saddled the Vronsky four-year-old in three other starts,
resulting in a fourth in his January 24 debut, a seventh one month later and a
second-placing on March 9, all at Santa Anita. Celebrity Status really took to
the Cushion Track at Hollywood, and now owns a 4-1-1-0, $50,810, career line.
Rounding out the day’s action was Benjamine C. Warren’s homebred Warren’s
Veneda, who posted a 1 3/4-length win in the $62,000
Alphabet Kisses for maiden fillies and mares. The Affirmative chestnut ran 6
1/2 furlongs in 1:18 2/5 to give Baze a sweep of the maiden stakes on the card.
The Craig Lewis-trained filly finished fifth on the turf in her career debut in
April at Santa Anita, and now shows a 2-1-0-0, $37,120, career mark.
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