INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 2, 2011)—Taxi Ride won for the first time in more than 21 months, holding off Meltarib to win the $48,700 allowance feature (video) Friday at Hollywood Park.
A loser of six in a row since going gate-to-wire in her debut Feb. 18, 2010 on the Santa Anita turf, the 9-1 shot used similar tactics Friday to post the upset in only her second local appearance.
A 5-year-old daughter of Event of the Year and the Affirmed mare Midnite Mama, Taxi Ride was bred by her owners – Ralph and Aury Todd and Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.
The win was the first of the Autumn meet for Mandella, who ranks sixth all time at Hollywood Park with 597 victories.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Taxi Ride took the lead without being pressured, got away with moderate fractions (23.95, 48.53 and 1:13.19), drew 2 ½ lengths clear with an eighth of a mile to run, then was all out to win by a nose. She ran the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:43.85.
Now 2-for-7 lifetime, Taxi Ride, who had finished last in her first try over the Hollywood Park grass Oct. 11, 2010, increased her earnings to $67,400.
The fifth choice in the field of seven California bred fillies and mares, Taxi Ride paid $21.20, $7.20 and $4.40.
Meltarib, the 19-10 second choice who had defeated maidens in her Hollywood Park turf debut May 13, returned $3.40 and $2.40. She finished a half-length in front of 3-2 favorite and anticipated pacesetter Sunburn. The show price on Sunburn was $2.60.
Completing the order of finish were Evasive Charmer, Quiet Advice, California Heat and Mo Cheese.
Talamo, Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard Sunburn, and Martin Garcia all had two winners Friday.
In addition to Taxi Ride, Talamo won the fourth with Rainbow Luck. Bejarano’s victories came with Miss Becca in the second and Willyconker in the fifth. Garcia won the third with Bench Beauty and the eighth with Lil Miss Mackey. The latter completed a double for trainer Mike Mitchell, who also saddled Rainbow Luck.
Through 14 days, Joel Rosario leads the jockey standings with 19 wins, two more than Garcia. Bejarano is third with 16 victories and Talamo is fourth with 11.
Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
The feature on the nine race program is the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap, a Grade III at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track. The 119-pound highweight in the field of seven is Tres Borrachos.
Owned by George Hicker and Button Stable and trained by Marty Jones, Tres Borrachos has picked up three of his four lifetime wins over the Hollywood Park main track.
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