INGLEWOOD, Calif. (October 11, 2010)—Quick Enough gave jockey Patrick Valenzuela his first Oak Tree stakes win in nearly four years with a 1 ½-length score in the $100,000 Morvich Handicap Monday at Hollywood Park.
Claimed for $40,000 on Aug. 5 at Del Mar, the 6-year-old could be headed to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
A Grade III, the Morvich was the final Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ Challenge races at the Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet.
Owned by Michael Bello, Russ Sarno and Pablo Suarez, Quick Enough, a gelded son of High Brite out of the Moscow Ballet mare Donna B. Quick, was claimed on their behalf by trainer Doug O’Neill.
In winning for the second time in three tries over the Hollywood Park turf, Quick Enough tracked the pace set by longshot Lt. Hopeful, took the lead with a bit less than an eighth of a mile to run and held off Dilemma’s late rally.
Running the six furlongs in 1:08.42, Quick Enough earned his seventh win in 14 starts. He was also the third consecutive California bred to capture the Morvich, joining defending Breeders’ Cup Turf sprint champ California Flag, who had won the previous two renewals.
Quick Enough, who was bred by John Harris, has earned $278,120. He also provided Valenzuela and O’Neill with their first win in the Morvich.
Before Monday, the last Oak Tree stakes win for Valenzuela had been with Romance Is Diane in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 28, 2006. His last stakes success at Hollywood Park was aboard Curiously Sweet in the Cat’s Cradle Handicap on Dec. 21, 2007.
“I knew the leader (Lt. Hopeful) had a lot of speed, but I thought he’d come back to me,’’ said Valenzuela. “He lasted a little longer than I thought. Turning for home, I knew I had the leader, I just didn’t know who was going to come running from behind. When I went to throw a cross, he picked it up and when I went to hit him left handed he really picked it up and started to draw away. Very nice.’’
Quick Enough paid $7.60, $4 and $2.80. Dilemma, a 20-1 outsider who was a neck better than 8-5 favorite Scenic Blast, returned $14 and $6. Scenic Blast paid $2.60 to show.
Afleet Ruler was fourth, then came Lt. Hopeful, Connagher, Bradium, Quietly Mine and Truest Legend. Tropic Storm, who finished third in the Oak Tree Mile two days earlier, was scratched.
There were 65 perfect tickets in the Pick Six Monday. Each was worth $5,333.80. An additional $476,542 was wagered into the pool in pursuit of a carryover from Sunday of $82,055.
Racing resumes Thursday. Post time for the eight race program is 1 p.m.
The Hollywood Park Casino will be open for simulcast wagering Wednesday.
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