INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 22, 2013)—Given a ground-saving trip by jockey Martin Garcia, Gifting, an 8-1 shot, ran past favored Mechaya in the final eighth of a mile to win the $50,842 feature Friday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for breeders Edward McGhee and John G. Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc., the 3-year-old Street Cry filly completed the 6 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:17.11.
Out of the Storm Cat mare Teeming, Gifting won for the second time in three races at Betfair Hollywood Park. She defeated maidens May 18 during the Spring/Summer meet.
Winless in four starts elsewhere, Gifting, who paid $18.80, $4.60 and $3.80, has banked $86,530.
Making her first start since finishing third in the Glorious Song Stakes Nov. 11, 2012 at Woodbine, Mechaya burst to a sizable early lead while sizzling through a 21.98 quarter, remained headstrong around the turn, drifted out into the stretch and couldn’t match strides with the winner late.
No worse than third in five starts, Mechaya paid $3.40 and $2.80 as the even-money choice. Peppy Bolly, the longest shot in the field of six at nearly 20-1, returned $5.40 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths behind Mechaya.
Mum’s Truckee, Spring Breeze and 2-1 second choice Tappingintherain completed the order of finish.
Joe Talamo moved into sole possession of second place in the jockey standings as he won with all three of his Friday mounts.
The natural hat trick was achieved in the second, third and fourth races. Talamo began his perfect day aboard Poshky ($4.20), continued with Sidepocket Champ ($21.20), who was moved up by the stewards from second after the disqualification of Bench Press, and Talamo wrapped his productive afternoon with Cause Im a Bigshot ($6.20).
Through 10 days of the final Autumn meet, Talamo has 11 victories, five less than leader Rafael Bejarano.
Racing will resume Saturday. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
Tamarando, who won the Grade I Del Mar Futurity in September, tops a field of eight 2-year-olds scheduled to run 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track in the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes. The Saturday feature is the eighth of nine races.
This is also the third of seven Saturdays during the season that will offer a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000. If the pool reaches $200,000, there will be $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials at Whittingham’s Pub and Betfair Players’ Lounge.
Additionally, if there is a single winning ticket in the Pick Six – purchased either on track or through Television Games Network (TVG) – the holder of the ticket will receive a bonus – a new Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.
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