Silver Screen Handicap : Saddle Sore: Corey Black Wins Aboard 37-1 Shot
Perhaps Corey Black should get into jockeys’ room scuffles more often. The 20-year-old rider mixed it up with another jockey, Amir Cedeno, after the second race at Hollywood Park Sunday, and has been riding as though the stewards’ fine would be thousands, not only $100.
Black was sore in the neck from his second-race spill, and sore at Cedeno for shutting him off at the three-eighths pole. But Black came back and won both the third and fourth races Sunday, finished second with Fitzwilliam Place in the Beverly Hills Handicap and then on Monday rode Raise a Stanza, a 37-1 shot, to a half-length victory in the $169,700 Silver Screen Handicap.
Both Black and Raise a Stanza had been recently known more for their turf accomplishments than anything they had done on dirt, but the Silver Screen changed that.
Going into the 1 1/8-mile main-track race, Raise a Stanza’s only stakes win this year had been on grass--and on a disqualification--in his last start. And although Black had been winning with a good 13% of his mounts in grass races this season, his percentage on dirt was only half that.
The Silver Screen was reduced to 12 3-year-olds after Notorious Pleasure, the colt who finished ahead of Raise a Stanza in the roughly run Cinema Handicap on June 11, was scratched because trainer Hector Palma didn’t want to run from the outside post.
Notorious Pleasure was the morning-line favorite, but his 7-2 price was indicative of what a handicappers’ nightmare the Silver Screen was. The crowd of 20,546 made Prized, one of only three starters who had won last time, and Endow, the California Derby winner, the slight favorites.
Endow loomed in contention, on the outside and in fourth place, coming out of the far turn, but he settled for seventh. Broke the Mold, who ran as an entry with Exemplary Leader and went off at 14-1, finished second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Prized, who stumbled out of the gate and had a wide trip while making his first start in four months.
Raise a Stanza, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 2/5, paid $76.60, $27.80 and $11.20 to become the highest-priced winner of the 11-year-old Silver Screen. The Raise a Man-Short Stanza colt earned $102,200 for his owner, Jack Kent Cooke. Broke the Mold paid $11 and $5, and Prized returned $3.80.
Raise a Stanza carried 115 pounds, five pounds less than Endow, who was the high weight. Black was never on Raise a Stanza’s back until he worked the horse for trainer Jay Robbins Monday morning. Gary Stevens, who had ridden Raise a Stanza in two of his last three races, told Robbins he might be making a mistake, but elected to ride Endow in the Silver Screen.
Bruho might have been Black’s Silver Screen mount, but trainer Julio Canani, unhappy with the weights, didn’t run and Black felt an obligation to Robbins, who had used him to ride Flying Continental to a 12th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
When they were younger horses, Robbins worked them in company and first thought that Raise a Stanza was better. Even with the Silver Screen going to Raise a Stanza, Robbins said Monday that he still thinks Flying Continental, second to Sunday Silence in the Santa Anita Derby, is better.
“But this horse is improving,” Robbins said of Raise a Stanza. “He doesn’t like dirt hitting him in the face, and we were able to avoid that today.”
Advocate Training set the pace, running respectable early fractions through the first half-mile, with Raise a Stanza close behind at all times. On the turn for home, Advocate Training dropped out of contention, with Broke the Mold making his move.
Broke the Mold, under Martin Pedroza, held a one-length lead in mid-stretch, but Raise a Stanza kept coming.
“When I got my horse in gear, he finished the whole way down the lane,” Black said. “He feels like a route horse, and he wasn’t getting late today. He’s kind of lazy, but he has a big stride and he’s strong. I can’t believe he’s by Raise a Man (who sires mostly sprinters).”
The next logical race would be the Swaps at 1 1/4 miles on July 23, except that trainer Charlie Whittingham has announced that his Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner, Sunday Silence, is going to run.
“I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go for it,” said Black, still flush with Monday’s victory.
Robbins took a less forceful perspective.
“Maybe Charlie will give his horse a little longer rest,” the trainer said.
Horse Racing Notes
A stewards’ hearing for Dean Bailey, the mutuel clerk who was involved in the alleged Pick Nine scam at Hollywood Park, will be held Saturday. The clerk has been suspended indefinitely and there is a chance that the stewards could issue a ruling against him. A Pick Nine ticket for about $4,600 was cancelled by Bailey, then sold by the bettor to several patrons. They thought they held the only ticket on a $1.3-million payoff until the track told them that the bet had been voided at the request of the original bettor.
“Jockeys Across America” day at tracks around the country accounted for an estimated $80,000 for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund. Many jockeys contributed the equivalent of one mount fee to the fund, which aids injured riders who have hospital bills. At Hollywood Park, fans spent $5,000 Saturday on T-shirts sold on behalf of the fund, which is named after the jockey who died of cancer. Marje Everett, Hollywood Park’s chief operating officer, reportedly made a personal contribution of $10,000.
Bill Shoemaker, who will be honored at Hollywood Park during a night program on July 21, won two races Monday in Stockholm on his retirement tour, raising his record total to 8,807. . . . Trainer Julio Canani said he would not run Putting in the Sunset Handicap on July 21, because the horse has a tendency to jump shadows. . . . Amir Cedeno wasn’t fined for his role in the altercation with Corey Black on Sunday, but the stewards handed him a five-day suspension for not having better control of his horse. . . . Black will be at River Downs near Cincinnati today to ride Annoconnor.