INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 17, 2011)—After overcoming some anxious moments in the saddling paddock, Majestic City showed a new dimension while remaining undefeated as the talented 2-year-old captured the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Sunday at Hollywood Park.
The Juvenile was the first of two Grade III races on the final day of the Spring/Summer meet.
One race later, Imponente Purse, the 5-2 second choice, rallied to take the $100,000 Sunset Handicap.
Owned by Jeffrey Bloom and trained by Peter Miller, Majestic City had led throughout in the first two victories of his career, including a 3 ½ length score in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes June 12.
In the Juvenile, the son of City Zip and the Meadowlake mare It’schemistrybaby tracked from the outside as the 9-10 favorite while 9-5 second choice Night Tide made the lead.
Entering the stretch, Majestic City was actually third as Brigand, a stablemate of Night Tide in the barn of Bob Baffert, challenged from the inside.
Ultimately, the chestnut colt took charge, drawing clear in the final sixteenth. The margin was 2 ¼ lengths and the final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.45.
Ridden by David Flores, Majestic City, who has been favored in each of his starts, returned $3.80, $2.60 and $2.10. He’s earned $135,570.
“He got startled by the crowd in the paddock and he sucked back and lost his footing,’’ said Miller in explaining the pre-race issues. “He didn’t flip over, but he kind of fell sideways. The rule is that if a horse flips, they scratch him.
“He didn’t actually flip, he kind of fell more sideways. I want to thank the state veterinarian (Dr. Dana Stead) who allowed the horse to warm up to see how he was and allowing the horse to run.
“He looked perfect. He got real antsy behind the starting gate, which he had never done before. So we’ve got more schooling to do with him, but the way everything is going, we’re happy.
“You’ve got to run hard and fast to beat Baffert. Those were two nice colts he beat. I was a little worried at the quarter pole because he wasn’t really moving and then at the eighth pole he really leveled off and continued on.’’
Miller said Majestic City will likely make his next start in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes, a Grade II at 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 7 at Del Mar.
A New York bred son of Flatter, Brigand, the 4-1 third choice in a field reduced to six after He’s a Bandit and Ruler of Dubai scratched, paid $4 and $2.20. He finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Night Tide. The show price on the third place finisher was $2.20.
Completing the order of finish were Pond Oreille, Super Candy and Rino S.
A Brazilian bred gelding, Imponente Purse provided jockey Chantal Sutherland with her fourth stakes success of the meet in the Sunset.
Owned by Coudelaria Jessica and trained by A.C. Avila – the same connections that won the Royal Heroine Mile July 4 with the mare Celtic Princess – Imponente Purse came wide into the stretch, running past Falcon Rock late to earn his fourth win.
A son of Public Purse and the Sunny’s Halo mare White Tea, Imponente Purse ended a seven race losing streak in the turf marathon. Winning for the first time since taking an optional claimer on the Hollywood Park grass last Nov. 19, Imponente Purse covered the 1 ½ miles in 2:26.65 while winning by 1 3/4 lengths.
Now 4-for-19 lifetime, the 5-year-old increased his bankroll to $188,627. He returned $7.60, $4 and $2.60.
The 5-1 third choice in a field reduced to seven after the scratch of morning line favorite and 124-pound highweight Acclamation and Atticus Jack, Falcon Rock paid $5 and $2.80. He finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of 3-2 favorite Celtic New Year. The show payoff on Celtic New Year was $2.20.
Runner-up in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 11, Celtic New Year faded after gaining a clear lead with about an eighth of a mile to run. He wound up three-quarters of a length in front of First Settler, then came Victorian Prince, pacesetter Restless Soul and Ashtar.
“He deserves some luck,’’ said Avila of the winner. “He had bad luck in the race at Santa Anita (a head loss in the San Juan Capistrano April 17), so we had to close the meeting with some good luck.
“He’s always like that, one pace, one pace, one pace. He came back fresh before his last race. I want to freshen him more.’’
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