INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 18, 2009) — Second-choice Delta Storm, an 8-year-old coming back from a six-month layoff, scored a front-running victory under jockey Joel Rosario in Thursday’s $76,145 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park.
The win was sweet for trainer Mike Mitchell, a very good friend of the late surgeon who founded the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic.
It was also sweet for owner Michael House. Since being claimed for $40,000 at Churchill Downs in May of 2008, Delta Storm has won four of eight starts and $219,883. Overall, he has won 11 of 28 starts and $388,523.
Delta Storm was pressured early by Nericon King and Backbackbackgone, but gained a clear lead nearing the far turn and opened up turning for home. He cruised to victory in 1:07.94 for six furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course, finishing 1 ¼ lengths clear of Sky Cape.
Candy Pull finished third in the field of eight older horses, followed by Wild Diplomat and 2-1 favorite and defending champion Get Funky. Hewitts, Backbackbackgone and Nericon King — the horses closest to Delta Storm on the backstretch — finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Delta Storm paid $9.20, $4.40 and $3.00. Sky Cape returned $5 and $3.40, while the show payoff on Candy Pull was $4.80.
Rosario rode three winners on the card and Rafael Bejarano was aboard a pair, while Martin Pedroza rode his first winner after being sidelined five months with a pelvis injury.
There were no perfect Pick Six tickets for the second straight day, resulting in a Pick Six carryover of $522,957 when racing resumes Friday at 7:05 p.m.
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