INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 1, 2011)—Returning to Southern California after a maiden victory June 12 at Golden Gate Fields, Skipton Creek posted an 11-1 surprise in the $57,900 allowance feature Friday night at Hollywood Park.
The upset by the 3-year-old daughter of Aragorn was one of several in the Pick 6, so there is a carryover of $79,818 into the Saturday card. Post time is 1 p.m. The Pick 6 will begin in the fifth race. Scheduled post time for the fifth is 3:05 p.m.
The second of three victories for jockey David Flores, Skipton Creek tracked the pace set by Artuya, got the lead approaching the wire and held off the late surge of favored Rosehill Dew to win by a head.
Owned by breeder Robert S. Evans, Skipton Creek, who is out of the Pleasant Colony mare Wye River, keyed an All-Star trifecta. The first three finishers all reside in Hall of Fame stables.
A winner twice in five starts with earnings of $56,520, Skipton Creek is trained by Neil Drysdale, who has been in Racing’s Hall of Fame since 2000. Runner-up Rosehill Dew is trained by Ron McAnally, who was inducted in 1990. Artuya, who finished a close third, is in the barn of Bob Baffert, who entered the Hall in 2009.
Covering the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.88, Skipton Creek paid $24, $9.80 and $4.80.
Rosehill Dew, breaking slowly for the third time in as many races in the United States, returned $3.20 and $2.60 as the 3-2 favorite. Artuya, a maiden winner in her turf debut May 30, paid $3.40 to show. The 3-1 second choice finished a half-length behind Rosehill Dew, an Irish bred who began her career in France.
There was an inquiry involving Rosehill Dew for an alleged bumping incident in the stretch with Warren’s Flyer, who finished sixth, but there was no change.
True Way of Grace, the longest shot in the field at nearly 17-1, was fourth, then came Lemon Drop Ridge, Warren’s Flyer and Hout Bay.
In addition to his victory aboard Skipton Creek, Flores also won the second with Savy Smiles and the sixth with Bay Rush. Flores is fifth in the rider standings at the Spring/Summer meet with 26 wins.
Baffert, seeking his first training title at a Spring/Summer season, won the opener with Ellafitz and the eighth with Hotstepper to extend his lead to 30-25 over Mike Mitchell. Baffert has 498 career victories at Hollywood Park.
Hotstepper, the 17-10 favorite, was a narrow winner over Aeromon, who was ridden by Eswan Flores, an 18-year-old apprentice riding in his first thoroughbred race.
The 10 race program Saturday includes two Grade I’s – the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile on turf and the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap at seven furlongs over Cushion Track.
The Shoemaker Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ race. The Breeders’ Cup nominated winner earns a spot in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Additionally, the winner will have pre-entry and entry fees waived and receive a $10,000 travel allowance.
Courageous Cat, defending champion Victor’s Cry, Caracortado and Liberian Freighter top a field of seven in the Shoemaker Mile. Amazombie and Smiling Tiger are the main contenders in the Triple Bend.
The Shoemaker Mile goes as the sixth race. The Triple Bend is the ninth.
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