INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 15, 2012)—Favored Qaraaba was a last-to-first winner in her United States debut in the $52,700 feature (video) Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Content to trail after a sluggish start under jockey Julien Leparoux, the 5-year-old daughter of Shamardal out of the Unfuwain mare Mokaraba swung to the outside early in the stretch and easily swept past her six rivals nearing the wire.
Owned by Alice Bamford and Michael Tabor and making her initial appearance for trainer Simon Callaghan, Qaraaba, who was racing on Lasix for the first time, completed the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:41.07. The 1½ length win was the sixth in 14 starts for the English bred and increased her earnings to $81,119. Five of her wins have come in 12 races over grass.
The 9-10 choice, Qaraaba paid $3.80, $3.60 and $3. Plaza de Indias, who gained a short lead with about an eighth of a mile remaining, finished three-quarters of a length in front of I Dazzle, who was a nose better than 7-2 second choice Left a Message.
Making her first start for trainer Angel Rodriguez, Plaza de Indias, who was 10-1, paid $6.40 and $4.20. The show price on I Dazzle was $3.40.
Silver Hustler finished fifth ahead of Sizzling Gold and Romantic Wish, who disputed the pace through the first six furlongs. Smart Striking and Triveni were scratched.
Although he had to settle for third aboard I Dazzle, Rafael Bejarano won three times Thursday to take over sole possession of the lead in the jockey standings. Bejarano has eight wins through five days of the Autumn meet, leaving him two clear of Edwin Maldonado, who had a pair of victories Thursday.
Racing will resume Friday. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 10 a.m.
The fourth race will feature the much anticipated debut of Eblouissante, the 3-year-old half sister to 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta. Corey Nakatani will ride the daughter of Bernardini for owner-breeder Eric Kronfeld and trainer John Shirreffs.
This will also be the second Fiesta Friday, featuring food and drink specials, including Mexican munchies, between 2-4p.m. and Gold Club members can enter to win a $100 mutuel voucher.
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