INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2009) — Front-running Kinsale King, making just his sixth career start, held off 8-year-old veteran Delta Storm in the stretch to win Sunday’s $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes by a neck under jockey Martin Garcia at Hollywood Park.
Kinsale King, the first stakes winner for trainer Carl O’Callaghan, covered six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:09.67 while connecting at odds of 7-1 to seal a Pick Six carryover of $114,724 when racing resumes Wednesday.
The victory came on the eve of O’Callaghan’s 34th birthday.
“I was confident, very confident,” O’Callaghan said. “He trained so good going into the race. He’s got a lot of heart, and that’s what it’s all about is heart. He’s always had trouble with his feet — he’s had a lot of quarter crack problems. My blacksmith has been there every day with me, side by side, nursing him through the feet. We loved him last time, but he wasn’t 60-1 today, was he?
“I’ll be 34 tomorrow,” he added. “I’m going to go home and cook a big fat steak and mashed potatoes then come back here and do it all again.”
Kinsale King, an outsider in the field of seven older horses at 7-1, paid $16.40, $7.80 and $5.80 while banking $60,000 to boost his earnings to $117,080. The win was the second straight and third overall for the 4-year-old, who is owned by Dr. Patrick Sheehy’s Super Horse, Inc.
“The first time I ride him I found out he’s a much better horse on the lead, so I was going to send him no matter what,” Garcia said. “I let him get comfortable on the lead. He has so much heart, he keeps going and going, he wasn’t going to let anyone by. He’s just a different horse when he’s in front. Especially today, he ran with some really nice horses. I was surprised the way he won last time, but not today.”
Delta Storm, ridden by Rafael Bejarano made a gallant effort in the stretch, but had to settle for second money, paying $3.80 and $2.80. Mr. Cacht, another 1 ¼ lengths back in third with Felipe Valdez up, returned $6.40. Favorite Noble Court finished fourth.
The Pick Six races began with a victory by Rummysecret War, the highest priced winner at the meeting at $216.40. The Oscar Garcia-trained 4-year-old was ridden by Silvio Amador, who had not previously ridden a Hollywood Park winner.
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