INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 21)-Excessive Passion, dismissed at 17-1, rallied strongly on the outside under jockey Martin Garcia to win the $75,000 Harry Henson Stakes, the opening day feature of Hollywood Park’s spring-summer meet.
Making his first start since a last place finish in the Lost In The Fog at Turf Paradise last Dec. 26, Excessive Passion, a 3-year-old Vronsky colt out of the In Excess mare Ms Hearts N Arrows, enjoyed his first experience on grass and ran to some recent sharp works at Golden Gate.
Excessive Passion, who paid $36 to win, $19.80 to place and $12.80 to show, got up in the final strides to overtake 20-1 shot and pacesetter Locksley Hall.
Trained by Jeff Bonde for owners Rusty Brown, Alan Klein and Phil Lebherz, Excessive Passion ran the six furlongs in 1:08.93 while winning by a half-length. The win was the third in four starts for the $25,000 yearling purchase, who began his career with victories against maidens at Golden Gate last March 28, then returned on July 4 to win a stakes for California breds at Pleasanton.
“Jeff told me to just forget about that last race,’’ said Garcia, who also won the eighth and final race with Goshawk. “He said this horse can really run and has been working great. He told me to take him back and make one run. He broke beautifully and I took a long hold. When I angled him to the outside, he really finished.’’
Locksley Hall, who had defeated maidens on Feb. 15, finished a nose in front of 3-1 second choice Smiling Tiger, who is also trained by Bonde. Locksley Hall returned $22 and $13.20. Smiling Tiger paid $5 to show. Face And An Ace, the 2-1 favorite aiming for his third win in a row, finished fifth in the field of 10.
Although he was unplaced with Hollywood Harbor in the Henson, Tyler Baze kicked off Hollywood Park in style. Baze had a natural hat trick, sweeping races 4-6.
He won with favorites Ms Margaritaville ($3.60) and Ishmael ($4.20) in the fourth and sixth races. His victory in the fifth came with Brookie Girl ($11), who has won three in succession for trainer Vladimir Cerin.
David Flores won a pair of races, including the opener with Belleofthebridle, a daughter of Yes It’s True who was dominant in her debut. The lone filly in the field of eight won the 4 ½ furlong contest for 2-year-old maidens by 5 ¾ lengths as the 11-10 choice.
Belleofthebridle is trained by Walther Solis, who also won the initial race of the 2009 spring-summer meet with Grace Upon Grace.
Hollywood Park will be open for simulcasting only – beginning at 10:15 a.m. – on Thursday, then racing will resume with the first Friday night card of the season. Post time is 7:05 p.m. and the evening will also feature a concert after the races by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
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