INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 15, 2012) — A historic victory by jockey Chantal Sutherland in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, the dominance of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Rafael Bejarano, the emergence of the dynamic 2-year-old filly Executiveprivilege, Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins by local hero I’ll Have Another and the opening of the Betfair Hollywood Park Players Lounge were among the highlights of the Spring/Summer meet. The 50-day season at Betfair Hollywood Park concluded Sunday.
After guiding Game On Dude to an easy victory in the Grade II Californian June 2, Sutherland became the first female rider to win the Gold Cup aboard the 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding, defeating stablemate Richard’s Kid by 1 ½ lengths.
This result gave Baffert, who won the 2011 Gold Cup with First Dude, a second consecutive exacta sweep in Betfair Hollywood Park’s signature race. One year earlier, Sutherland and Game On Dude missed by a nose while finishing a neck in front of favored Twirling Candy.
The win was the seventh in 15 starts for Game On Dude since joining Baffert’s barn almost 27 months ago and pushed the Kentucky bred’s earnings to more than $2.64 million.
The Gold Cup was a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ Challenge race, so First Dude earned a fees-paid spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, plus a $10,000 travel allowance.
The two victories by Game On Dude earned the dark bay, who is owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC, Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable and Bernie Schiappa, Horse of the Meet honors in the annual media poll.
Along with Game On Dude, Jeranimo and Switch gained Breeders’ Cup berths – in the Mile and Filly and Mare Sprint, respectively – with wins in the Shoemaker Mile and the A Gleam Handicap.
Jeranimo rallied from last to take the Shoemaker June 30 for owner B.J. Wright and trainer Mike Pender before Switch used similar tactics in the A Gleam.
The 5-year-old Quiet American mare’s victory was the last of three graded successes July 14 for trainer John Sadler, who also won the Hollywood Juvenile Championship with Scherer Magic and the Grade I American Oaks – Presented by American Airlines – with Lady of Shamrock.
Harris Farms, Inc., – which is owned by John Harris, who became the ninth recipient of the Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award July 7 – was the leading owner in terms of victories with seven. The Game On Dude partnership led in earnings ($390,000).
Baffert easily won his second consecutive Spring/Summer training title, finishing with 35 wins, eight more than Sadler. Baffert also had a season-high 11 stakes victories. Baffert has captured five training titles at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Bejarano was dominant in the jockey’s race, winding up with 74 wins, 25 more than runner-up Joe Talamo. Bejarano also led with 13 stakes victories. The title was the first at a Spring/Summer meet for the Peruvian native, who turned 30 June 23, since 2008.
A $650,000 purchase in April by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the Baffert-trained Executiveprivilege overcame a horrible start to win her initial outing June 28, before returning with a stylish victory in the $150,000 Landaluce Stakes 16 days later.
A maiden winner over Cushion Track in his career debut July 3, 2011 and stabled at Betfair Hollywood Park throughout his career, I’ll Have Another was impressive in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for owner J. Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez.
Retired the day before the June 9 Belmont Stakes due to a tendon injury, I’ll Have Another was honored July 7 at Betfair Hollywood Park. The son of Flower Alley will soon be leaving for Japan to begin his new life as a stallion.
A state of the art customer hospitality venue, the Betfair Hollywood Park Players Lounge opened July 6. The Lounge features enhanced food and drink choices, public Wi-Fi and widescreen, high definition televisions.
Statistical figures for the Spring/Summer meet are being compiled and will be released in the near future.
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