INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 8, 2012)—Returning to California after five futile starts in the United Arab Emirates, Richard’s Kid was an easy winner in the $71,650 Prove It Stakes Friday night at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A Grade I winner in both 2009 and 2010 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Richard’s Kid gained the lead on the rail a little more than a half mile into his return and cruised to a 7 ¼ length victory under Rafael Bejarano.
Owned by Zabeel Racing International Corporation, the 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, who was no better than fourth over Meydan Race Course during a campaign that spanned nearly 13 months, won for the 10th time in 33 starts. Out of the Broad Brush mare Tough Broad, Richard Kid has earned $1,826,385.
The win was the third in a row in the United States for the Maryland bred. He wrapped 2010 with consecutive Grade I victories – his second in a row in the Pacific Classic Aug. 28 at Del Mar and the Goodwood Stakes Oct. 7 at Santa Anita.
The clocking for the 1 3/8 miles – the first time the distance had been run over Cushion Track – was 2:16.48.
The 4-5 favorite against four opponents, Richard’s Kid paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.10.
Dynamic Host, the 122-pound highweight and 5-2 second choice, wound up 2 ¼ lengths clear of Honour the Deputy. The winner of the Grade III Tokyo City March 24 at Santa Anita, Dynamic Host paid $2.80 and $2.10. The show price on Honour the Deputy, who has lost 11 in a row since winning Nov. 26, 2010 at Laurel, was $2.20.
Balladry and Northern Indy, who set the pace briefly before Richard’s Kid took over on the backstretch, completed the order of finish.
The win by Richard’s Kid, who could join stablemate and recent Californian winner Game On Dude in the Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup July 7, added to meet leading totals for both jockey and trainer. Bejarano has nine stakes wins while Baffert has eight.
In search of his fourth local riding title – including the 2010 Oak Tree season – Bejarano, who had two other wins Friday, has a 36-27 lead over Joe Talamo through 27 days. Baffert, who is seeking his second consecutive Spring/Summer title, has a 20-10 advantage over John Sadler.
Racing resumes Saturday. In conjunction with the simulcast of the 143rd Belmont Stakes from Belmont Park, Betfair Hollywood Park will have an early post time of 11 a.m. Track gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday. The first simulcast from Belmont Park is scheduled for 8:35 a.m.
Acclamation, the champion older male of 2011, will make his first start in eight months when he aims for his third consecutive victory in the Grade I, $250,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap.
Set for 1 ¼ miles on turf, the Whittingham is one of three turf stakes – along with the Grade II, $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles and the $70,000 Manhattan Beach for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs – on the 11 race card. The Whittingham goes as the 10th while the Honeymoon is the third and Manhattan Beach the sixth.
In commemoration of I’ll Have Another’s wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Betfair Hollywood Park will have a shot glass giveaway – one pair per paid admission while supplies last.
Additionally, there is a Belmont Dream contest. Fans on track can enter a free drawing to secure a $1,000 win wager on the Belmont participant of their choice.
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