INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 25, 2012)—A reunion with jockey Rafael Bejarano and a waiting ride led to a victory for Donner Wasser in the $54,700 turf feature Friday night (video) at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Making her second start for trainer Mike Mitchell, the 5-year-old Thunder Gulch mare was up in the final yards for her third lifetime victory. She completed the mile in 1:36.48 while winning by a half-length.
The 6-1 fourth choice in a field of seven California bred fillies and mares – reduced after the scratch of Grasp – Donner Wasser paid $15.60, $6.40 and $3.20. Out of the Chequer mare Test the Waters, the chestnut has earned $120,404 in 13 starts.
Third against a similar group April 29 in her return to Southern California after two races at Turf Paradise in Arizona, Donner Wasser was reserved early by the meet’s leading rider while Shewhomustbeobeyed set the pace tracked by 2-1 favorite Unusual Hottie.
Owned by a partnership that includes Thomas Noone and Joe, Bill and Bernice Thomas, Donner Wasser rallied in the center of the course for her second win under Bejarano. The two had teamed for a maiden victory Aug. 13, 2010 at Del Mar.
After encountering some traffic with about a quarter of a mile to run, Elana Mar came through along the inside to gain second, a nose in front of Unusual Hottie, who had a clear advantage with a furlong to go.
Elana Mar returned $5.20 and $3.40. The show price on Unusual Hottie, who hasn’t missed the board in four races on turf, was $2.60. Carrie Rose, who is also trained by Mitchell, was fourth as the 2-1 second choice.
The win was the second of the evening for Bejarano, enabling him to increase his lead in the jockey standings to five (22-17) over Joe Talamo through 18 days of the Spring/Summer season.
Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
One hour before the first race, Doug O’Neill, the trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another, will be the special guest of Kurt Hoover on the Inside Scoop. The Inside Scoop is held at the Paddock Tote Board.
The feature attraction is the $150,000 American Handicap, a Grade II at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Mr. Commons is the 8-5 favorite on Russ Hudak’s morning line.
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