INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 13, 2012)—Exiting a pair of graded races, Dhaamer responded to class relief with an impressive victory in the $72,950 Round Table Stakes (video) Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The 11-10 favorite against eight opponents, the 5-year-old Irish bred powered home in the final quarter of a mile to win by 4 ½ lengths under jockey Joel Rosario.
Trained by Mike Mitchell for owner Edward J. Brown, Jr., the gelded son of Dubai Destination and the Ahonoora mare Arjuzah completed the 1 ½ miles on turf in 2:27.65.
Second in the Grade III Tokyo City March 24 and fourth in the Grade II San Juan Capistrano April 22 in his first two races in the United States, Dhaamer earned his fourth lifetime victory. The chestnut, who has started 13 times, has earned $114,272.
Providing Rosario with his second win in the Round Table – he had also won the most recent renewal before Sunday in 2009 with Obrigado – Dhaamer paid $4.20, $2.80 and $2.40.
Reserved off the pace set by Lumberyard Jack and longshot St. Joel, Dhaamer began his surge on the outside around the final turn, then swept to the front early in the stretch.
The lone female in the field, Quaintly, who saved ground throughout under Victor Espinoza, found room to rally inside the tiring pacesetters, but was no match for the winner. Runner-up in both of her outings in this country for trainer Patrick Biancone, Quaintly paid $5.80 and $3.20.
Porfido, who would have been the oldest stakes winner in the history of Betfair Hollywood Park had he been successful in the Round Table, gained third by a half-length over Dynamic Host, the 4-1 second choice. The show price on the 10-year-old, who was three-quarters of a length behind Quaintly, was $3.40.
“There were no instructions today,’’ said Mitchell. “When you have a rider like Joel you don’t say much because you don’t know how these things are going to go.
“He had plenty left in the tank. He came out of the San Juan Capistrano well; he was bucking and playing and feeling good a day or two after the race, so you just knew he wasn’t knocked out. He’ll probably go next in the (Grade III, $150,000) Sunset (Handicap July 15).’’
Completing the order of finish were Lumberyard Jack, Bud I Crushed It, Goldwaki and St. Joel. Falcon Rock was scratched in favor of a race Thursday.
One race before the Round Table, jockey Patrick Valenzuela picked up his first win since ending his retirement last month, prevailing by three-quarters of a length aboard favored Langfuhrs Lightning.
The victory was the first for Valenzuela, 49, since he won with 14-1 shot Miss Mittagong last Nov. 12 at Betfair Hollywood Park. He was 0-for-24 at the Spring/Summer meet prior to Sunday’s win.
Racing resumes Thursday. Post time is 1 p.m.
The Hollywood Park Casino will be open for dark day simulcasts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is free and simulcasts begin at 10:10 a.m.
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