INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 18, 2012)—More than two months removed from his maiden win, Unstopper Topper stretched out and wired five fellow California breds in the $54,350 feature Friday night (video) at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trained by Kristin Mulhall for owner Kretz Racing LLC, the 4-year-old Old Topper gelding out of the Theatrical mare Emmy Ann covered the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track in 1:43.63.
Ridden for the first time by leading jockey Rafael Bejarano, the 5-1 shot quickly assumed the advantage, relaxed nicely in his initial main track route and wasn’t seriously menaced in the final eighth of a mile by 7-5 favorite Woodmans Luck. The margin of victory was 1 ¼ lengths.
The victory was the second in eight starts for Unstopper Topper, who was claimed for $25,000 by his current connections when sixth of eight in his debut last Sept. 17 at Fairplex Park.
Before his neck decision over state bred maidens going six furlongs March 4 at Santa Anita, Unstopper Topper had not been better than fourth in his first five races for Mulhall.
Padding his bankroll to $74,010, Unstopper Topper, who was bred by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, paid $13.60, $5.40 and $4.20.
The 2011 Snow Chief Stakes runner-up, Woodmans Luck returned $3 and $2.40. The show price on Accelerant, the longest shot in the field at 12-1, was $4.80. He finished one length behind Woodmans Luck.
Bejarano, who also won the first with favored Night Wind, has 15 victories, one more than Joe Talamo, through 14 days of the Spring/Summer meet.
Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 11 a.m.
In conjunction with the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, Betfair Hollywood Park will have an early 11 a.m. post time Saturday.
Track gates will open at 8 a.m. The first simulcast from Pimlico is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Approximate post time for the Preakness is 3:18 p.m. PDT, so it will be shown locally between the eighth and ninth races.
Preakness Day at Betfair Hollywood Park will also feature a baseball cap giveaway saluting Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another. The son of Flower Alley, who is stabled at Betfair Hollywood Park and broke his maiden here last July, will try to become the first horse to win the Derby and Preakness since Big Brown in 2008.
The black cap with an insignia of owner J. Paul Reddam’s purple and white silks will be given one per paid admission while supplies last.
The Saturday program features a pair of graded events – the $100,000 Railbird, a Grade III for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs over Cushion Track and the $150,000 Marjorie L. Everett Handicap, a Grade II for older females at 1 1/16 miles.
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