INGLEWOOD, Calif. (October 22, 2010)—Aggie Engineer ended a six race losing streak, taking the $48,400 feature Friday night at Oak Tree/Hollywood Park.
In a race switched from turf to Cushion Track, the 5-year-old E Dubai gelding out of the Dixieland Band mare Papalma demonstrated his superiority late, ultimately prevailing by 2 ¼ lengths over a stubborn Sky Cape.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher for owner-breeders Ward and Roberta Williford, Aggie Engineer, the 13-10 favorite, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.18.
The win was the fifth in 15 starts for the Kentucky bred, who was ridden by Joe Talamo. His most recent score before Friday had also come over Cushion Track. The chestnut led throughout to win a $45,080 allowance last Dec. 11.
Increasing his earnings to $208,280, Aggie Engineer returned $4.60, $2.80 and $2.20.
Sky Cape, making only his second start of the year for hot trainer Kristin Mulhall, paid $5.80 and $4.80 as the 7-1 fourth choice.
Mulhall entered Friday evening having won with five of seven starters at the meet, including a pair of victories Thursday.
The show price on No Inflation, returning to California for the first time since he was third in the Oak Tree Derby last Nov. 7, was $2.80.
Tiz West, Allegre and Wing Forward completed the order of finish. Wing Forward was pulled up in the final eighth of a mile by jockey Martin Garcia, but the 6-year-old walked off.
Meteore and Great Siege were scratched.
Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 1 p.m.
The Oak Tree Racing Association will stage its most popular giveaway – a commemorative stein – Saturday. The 2010 stein, which features Zenyatta and jockey Mike Smith, are available per paid admission while supplies last.
In addition, Smith, a member of racing’s Hall of Fame since 2003 and a winner of 12 Grade I races already this year, will sign autographs between 12-1 p.m. near the Paddock Tote Board.
An oversized “Good Luck Zenyatta’ banner will also be available for fans to sign. The banner will be sent to Kentucky where the undefeated mare will seek her 20th win and a defense of her title in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
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