INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 25, 2010)-Taking advantage of a quick pace, Gallant Son rallied for the most significant win of his career in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
The Grade III was reduced to a field of nine after the scratches of Monterey Jazz, who had finished second behind Bold Chieftain in the San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, and Compari, the 7-5 morning line favorite who was declared Sunday morning by trainer Marty Jones due to a bruised foot.
Providing owners Chris and Diane Randall with their first victory in a graded race, Gallant Son made a four wide bid around the final turn to join the tiring leaders – the half mile fractions set by longshot Rummysecret War and Red Alert Day was 45.42 seconds, then went to win by 1 ¾ lengths under Mike Smith.
Trained by Frank Lucarelli, the 4-year-old Malabar Gold colt out of the Exploit mare Explicitly completed the 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:39.67. The win was his second in three races on grass. He was second in his lone defeat on the surface.
“It set up great,’’ said Smith, who also won the 2009 Inglewood with Madeo. “I was going to try and cut the corner, but I knew that Acclamation (who wound up fourth as the narrow 3-1 favorite) always gives a good kick and I didn’t want to get myself in a pickle. I felt like he was the best horse, so I just stayed clear and he did the rest. They were smoking up front.’’
The 3-1 second choice, Gallant Son returned $8.20, $5 and $4. Quindici Man, the second longest shot in the lineup at 29-1, finished second, a half-length in front of Glowing Praise, who was nearly 22-1. Quindici Man returned $17.80 and $9.60. Glowing Praise paid $11.80 to show.
After his first win in a stakes at Hollywood Park, Lucarelli indicated Gallant Son could return in the $250,000 Shoemaker Mile. A Grade 1 on turf, the Shoemaker will be run on Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) at Hollywood Park.
“He can hang a little bit, but he went on with it today,’’said Lucarelli. “I was a little worried, but around the eighth pole I looked back and I didn’t see anybody coming.
“This race probably confirmed that he’s a notch above on turf what he is on dirt. We were not really considering anything, but I guess the Shoemaker is a possibility now.’’
Jockey Brice Blanc won two of the final three races. He scored a narrow victory with 2-1 favorite Best Mon in the seventh, then surprised with 30-1 shot Carbon Hoofprint in the ninth.
Blanc gained the mount on Carbon Hoofprint for trainer A C Avila after Omar Berrio, who was supposed to ride the 4-year-old gelding, was forced to take off after being unseated by Dave’s Pacemaker, who is also trained by Avila, prior to the start of the seventh.
Berrio, who won the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes on Saturday with 10-1 longshot Fantasy Free, was taken to nearby Centinela Hospital Medical Center for precautionary rib x-rays, which proved negative. Berrio was released from the hospital, but complained of soreness and indicated he take the upcoming racing week off.
For the fourth consecutive day, there was one winning ticket in the Pick 6. The ticket was worth $142,118.
Racing resumes on Wednesday at Hollywood Park. Post time for the eight race card is 1 p.m. There will be a Super High Five carryover of $39,841 on the day’s finale.
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