INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 13, 2012)—Making what proved to be his only start for new connections, Master Chef won for the second time in less than a month, prevailing narrowly in a $52,000 optional claimer for California breds Friday night at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Claimed for $20,000 by Donkey Island Racing LLC – a partnership managed by Alex Solis, Jr. with a client list that includes New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees – and trainer Mark Glatt out of a decisive victory June 16, Master Chef again led every step of the way, holding off a fast-finishing Memphis by a nose with 2-1 second choice Daylight Magic a head back in third.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, the 5-year-old Vronsky gelding out of the Perfect Mandate mare Grilltoperfection completed the six furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:11.19. The 7-5 favorite in a field reduced to five after Floating Feather was scratched, Master Chef paid $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60.
The win was the sixth in 24 starts for Master Chef, who was bred by Old English Rancho, and increased his earnings to $239,808. He’s 3-for-11 over the Betfair Hollywood Park main track.
When Master Chef attempts to win a third in a row, he will do so for a new trainer. Peter Miller claimed the dark bay for $25,000 on behalf of owners Altamira Racing Stable and Kirk and Judy Robinson. Miller won a 15-way shake for Master Chef.
Memphis, whose lone victory came locally when he was 32-1 in his career debut July 2, 2011, trailed early, exploded in the final eighth of a mile and just missed at 9-2 under jockey Garrett Gomez. Memphis returned $4.20 and $2.80. The show price on Daylight Magic, who was ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano, was $2.60.
Vadertore, who was also claimed for $25,000 – by Donkey Island Racing LLC and Glatt – and Kessabtsi completed the order of finish.
Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
The 10 race card includes four stakes – three of them graded. The most lucrative races are the $350,000 American Oaks – Presented by American Airlines – and the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap.
A Grade I for 3-year-old fillies at 1 ¼ miles on turf, the American Oaks is headed by Lady of Shamrock, the 5-2 favorite on Russ Hudak’s morning line.
Switch is the 5-2 morning line choice in the A Gleam, a Grade II for fillies and mares at seven furlongs over Cushion Track. The race is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In’’ event. The BC nominated winner will earn a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. The winning owner will also receive a $10,000 travel allowance.
The two other stakes are for 2-year-olds – the Grade III, $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the $150,000 Landaluce, which is restricted to fillies. Both are six furlongs over Cushion Track.
The Juvenile Championship goes as the second race, the Landaluce is the fourth, the American Oaks the eighth and the A Gleam the ninth.
Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who became the first woman to win the Hollywood Gold Cup aboard Game On Dude July 7, will have an autograph session from 12-1 p.m. Saturday near the Paddock Tote Board.
There is also a rolling bag giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last.
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