INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 3, 2011)—A return to the Hollywood Park turf course enabled Gallant Son to end a losing streak as the 5-year-old outfinished favored Streakin’ Mohican to win the $81,898 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap Sunday.
Winning for the first time since he took the Grade III Inglewood Handicap April 25, 2010, the son of Malabar Gold and the Exploit mare Explicitly sat off the quick pace set by Streakin’ Mohican and California Flag, moved outside entering the stretch to join the leaders, eventually prevailing by a head after a stretch long duel.
Completing the six furlongs in 1:08.81, Gallant Son earned his seventh victory in 25 starts for owners Chris and Diane Randall and Rossi LLC and trainer Frank Lucarelli. The dark bay has earned $380,662.
The 9-2 third choice in the field of eight, Gallant Son, who had lost eight in a row before the Kerlan, paid $11.20, $5.20 and $3.40.
One of two horses saddled by trainer Doug O’Neill, Streakin’ Mohican, who had won an optional claimer over the Hollywood Park grass May 20, returned $4 and $2.80. He has not been worse than third in four races since being claimed by O’Neill for $40,000 Jan. 23. Quick Enough, the barn’s other starter, finished fifth.
Trying to give trainer John Sadler a fourth Kerlan victory, Don Tito was third, 1 ¾ lengths behind the runner-up and a nose in front of Raetodandty. The show price on Don Tito, an 11-1 shot, was $5.
Dancing in Silks, the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner, and California Flag, who won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, finished seventh and last, respectively.
“That was great,’’ said Smith after his first stakes win of the Spring/Summer meet. “It all worked out. We got out of the one hole really well. That was the key.
“I knew I had a lot of horse, but he tends to wait when he gets to the last horse. It wasn’t necessarily the one next to me (Streakin’ Mohican) that I was worried about. It’s getting caught because he waits. When someone gets momentum on him, he can’t get it going again.’’
Racing resumes Monday. Post time for the holiday program is 1 p.m.
Harmonious, who is 3-for-3 over the Hollywood Park turf course, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile. The biggest local win for the 4-year-old Dynaformer filly came in the Grade I American Oaks last July 3.
A Grade II on grass, the Royal Heroine also attracted Andina, Late Cuddle, Wild Mia, Givine and Celtic Princess.
Entries will be taken Wednesday for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, which will be run for the 72nd time Saturday.
Owned by breeder Jenny Craig’s Family Trust, William S. Farish and Marty Wygod, Twirling Candy, the 122-pound highweight, is expected to face, among others, Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, First Dude, Setsuko, Aggie Engineer, the mare Miss Match and Kentucky shipper Dark Cove.
The Gold Cup will be televised on ESPN (4-5 p.m. PDT). Scheduled post time for the Gold Cup, which is the eighth of 10 races, is 4:40 p.m.
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