INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 15, 2012)—After a ground saving trip, Shrug rallied to defeat pacesetter Close to the Edge and four others in the $55,350 feature (video) Friday night at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A neck loser at the same optional claiming level May 19 in his first start of the Spring/Summer meet, Shrug angled out for clear sailing in the final eighth of a mile under jockey Garrett Gomez and was up to win by 1 ¼ lengths.
Owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and trained by Carla Gaines, the 4-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro and the Woodman mare Babeinthewoods won for the third time in 13 starts. Completing the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.97, Shrug increased his earnings to $136,930.
The 5-2 second choice, Shrug, who has won twice in four races over the Betfair Hollywood Park main track, paid $7, $3.60 and $2.60.
Claimed for $40,000 by trainer Kristin Mulhall for Kretz Racing LLC out of a 1 ¾ length victory May 25, Close to the Edge quickly made the lead from his inside post, dispatched of Batti Man, drew clear, but couldn’t contain the winner. The 5-year-old Yes It’s True horse returned $7.20 and $3.20.
The early trailer after encountering some trouble shortly after the start, Sinai, the 9-5 favorite, gained third. Running for the first time since he was fourth in the restricted Uniformity Stakes last Oct. 23 at Santa Anita, Sinai paid $3.20 while finishing a neck behind Close to the Edge.
Apprentice Eswan Flores moved into fourth place in the jockey standings with a pair of wins Friday. He survived a stewards’ inquiry to take the second with 2-1 second choice My Samurai Warrior and captured the fourth with 5-1 shot Hasty Trend. Both My Samurai Warrior and Hasty Trend are trained by Victor Garcia.
Flores has 18 wins through 31 days, one more than Martin Pedroza. Rafael Bejarano, who also doubled Friday, is the runaway leader with 43, 14 more than Joe Talamo.Edwin Maldonado also won twice, going gate-to-wire with Attack the Jack in the third and scoring a come-from-behind upset with 8-1 shot Warren’s Concept in the sixth.
Jockey Joel Rosario, who is third in the standings, was absent Friday due to illness. First time starter Smoken Legacy, one of Rosario’s three scheduled mounts, won the eighth race under Bejarano.
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 main event on the 10 race card is the Grade I, $250,000 Vanity Handicap. Include Me Out, who has won three graded stakes in a row for owner Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Ron Ellis, is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
Prior to the Vanity, which is the ninth race, 2-year-olds will be in the spotlight in the $100,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial and the $100,000 Cinderella – for fillies. Both races are at 5 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track. The Proctor is the third and the Cinderella the seventh.
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