INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 16, 2011)—Making her first start beyond six furlongs and first for trainer Mike Mitchell, Diamond Journey responded with a one length victory in a $52,400 optional claimer for California bred fillies and mares Thursday at Hollywood Park.
The only runner in the field of six eligible to be taken for the $25,000 price tag, Diamond Journey received a dream trip from jockey Martin Garcia in winning for the fourth time in 10 career outings.
Claimed for $12,500 by Mitchell for owners Cady and Kanakaris out of a sprint victory May 19, the 3-year-old daughter of Good Journey and the Demons Begone mare Callmelauryn increased her earnings to $82,420.
After tracking the pace set by outsider Safe Word, Diamond Journey took a clear lead into the stretch and had more than enough in reserve to hold off the late rally of Screaming Regal, the 9-10 favorite.
Bred by Zann Racing Stable, Diamond Journey, who began her career at Turf Paradise, ran the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track in 1:44.43. The 3-1 second choice, she paid $8.40, $4 and $2.60.
Favored on the strength of a near miss behind Miles Rules in the Melair Stakes on California Gold Rush Day April 23, Screaming Regal returned $2.60 and $2.10. Meltarib, who finished 4 ¾ lengths behind Screaming Regal, paid $2.60 to show.
Scent of Chrism, the longest shot in the field at 48-1, was fourth, then came Secret Oath and Safe Word.
Racing resumes Friday night at Hollywood Park. Post time is 7:05 p.m.
The main event is the $70,000 Tsunami Slew Stakes. The one mile race for 3-year-olds will feature the turf debut of Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude.
Trained by Bob Baffert for owner Arnold Zetcher, Midnight Interlude, a son of former Breeders’ Cup Mile winner War Chant, is the 2-1 favorite on Russ Hudak’s morning line against six opponents. The Tsunami Slew goes as race seven. Scheduled post time is 10 p.m.
At the conclusion of the eight race program – approximately 10:30 p.m. – a concert starring Super Diamond will begin at the North Park Lawn.
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