Bejarano Notches 2,000th Win, Helps Walsh Complete Hat-Trick

Racing News
Posted 07.09.09 at 5:05

Rafael Bejarano, who notched career win No. 2,000 earlier on the program guides Bootleg Annie to a front-running victory in the Thursday feature. © BENOIT PHOTO

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 9, 2009) — Rafael Bejarano, who notched career win No. 2,000 earlier on the program, completed a three-win day for trainer Kathy Walsh by guiding Bootleg Annie to a front-running victory in the $68,324 allowance feature Thursday at Hollywood Park.

Bejarano, a 27-year-old native of Arequipa, Peru, rode his first winner in 2001 at Hipodromo de Monterrico in his homeland. He registered his 2,000th on Walsh-trained Good Time Sally in the fifth race. Walsh, who has saddled 1,150 career winners, also sent out Heathersdaddysbaby to win the third race.

Bejarano, who began riding in Southern California during Hollywood Park’s 2007 Autumn Meet, swept the five major Southern California riding titles in 2008 and won the recent Santa Anita meeting crown. He trails Joel Rosario by a 69-63 margin with seven days remaining at the 55-day Spring/Summer Meet, but he was not concerned Thursday.

“I am very happy to be here,” he said. “My agent (Joe Ferrer) has done a great job.”

Al and Sandee Kirkwood’s Bootleg Annie covered one mile on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:34.64 and was not seriously threatened by runner-up Bahama Mama in the stretch while cruising to a 1 ¾-length victory. Bitterbutsweet finished another 1 ½ lengths back in third.

Bootleg Annie, the even-money favorite, paid $4 and $2.20. Bahama Mama returned $2.40. There was no show betting in the field of four.

The victory — worth $45,240 — increased Bootleg Annie’s earnings to $373,358. The 5-year-old mare has won 14 of 28 starts.

Rosario and Bejarano each rode a pair of winners Thursday.

Racing resumes with a 7:05 p.m. post Friday night at Hollywood Park.

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