INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 16, 2012)—Making his first start in 4 ½ months, Weewinnin posted a 60-1 shocker in the inaugural running of the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes, the closing day feature (video) on a rainy Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
In a race restricted to 2-year-olds bred or sired in California, the Comic Strip colt and jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. held off Fighting Hussar and 2-1 favorite Monument to win for the second time in three starts.
Away since finishing fourth in the Graduation Stakes Aug. 1 at Del Mar, Weewinnin, who was purchased privately after defeating $32,000 maidens in his debut at Golden Gate Fields June 16, covered seven furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:23.54.
Trained by Brian Koriner for a partnership that includes E-Racing.com, Jill and Dr. William T. Gray and Janet Lyons, Weewinnin, who is out of the Roman Dancer mare Honoree Lady, returned $122, $54.20 and $20.40. The $110,000 payday pushed the dark bay’s earnings to $125,900.
Content to track the pace behind horses down the backstretch, Weewinnin moved up three wide to engage the leaders around the final turn, took the lead into the stretch and went on to prevail by a half-length.
“I think the public was just looking at the Beyers (speed figures published in the Daily Racing Form) and said he just doesn’t belong,’’ said Koriner, explaining why Weewinnin was the second longest shot in the field. “He ran a freaky race when he broke his maiden.
“When he ran (fourth) at Del Mar, we were a little upset, but he came out of the race with (sore) shins. That’s why he didn’t go on. My owners had me on the line for overpaying for him – I think we gave $100,000 – but we got it all back today. He had been training great and I’ve been telling the owners that he was going to win this.’’
Looking for his second victory of the meet, Fighting Hussar menaced like he was going to overtake Weewinnin, but was actually losing ground at the finish. An 11-1 shot, Fighting Hussar paid $12 and $6.80.
Defeated for the first time in races versus state breds, Monument had no visible excuses while finishing three-quarters of a length behind Fighting Hussar. The show price on Monument was $3.40.
Completing the order of finish were Tiz Minister, who wound up 1 ¼ lengths behind Monument, Lovmeister, Surfcup, Back to Bako, Strong Wind, Awesome Annie, Havoc and 5-1 second choice Hazardous.
Although Rafael Bejarano cut into the margin with five victories in the final two days of the meet, Edwin Maldonado held on 25-24 to win his first major riding title in Southern California.
A native of Puerto Rico, Maldonado, who turned 30 Dec. 1, also captured the crown at Fairplex Park, ending Martin Pedroza’s 13-year dominance of the Los Angeles County Fair meet. Garrett Gomez was tops among jockeys with five stakes victories.
Trainer Bob Baffert earned his third Autumn meet title at Betfair Hollywood Park – but first since 2001 – as the Hall of Famer finished with 17 victories, three more than runner-up John Sadler. Baffert was also the leader with four stakes wins.
The Hollywood Park Casino will be available for simulcasts Dec. 17-20. Admission is free.
Beginning Friday, Dec. 21 and continuing through Sunday, Dec. 23, Los Alamitos and Cal Expo will offer daytime racing programs. Post time at Los Alamitos is 2 p.m. Cal Expo will begin its card at 2:35 p.m.
The Players Club at Betfair Hollywood Park will be open those three days for Cal Expo, Los Alamitos and various other simulcasts, including Gulfstream Park, Hawthorne, Tampa Bay Downs and Turf Paradise.
Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 9:45 a.m. Admission will be $5.
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