For a fleeting instant, Fernando Toro thought he might exit a winner.
After having some trouble down the backstretch in the $83,300 Fiesta Handicap Friday night at Hollywood Park, Exclusive Partner, Toro’s final mount in his 34-year career, was starting to roll.
“He gave me a jump because I thought he might be able to make it,” the rider said.
It wasn’t to be for Toro in his 27,610th start. Exclusive Partner had to settle for third, beaten by three lengths.
“It wasn’t bad, though, for the last one,” said Toro, who had been honored in a winner’s circle ceremony after the fifth race. “Not bad at all. My horse gave it a good try.
“When I was coming back after the race, it all started to catch up with me. I felt a little bit sad. I thought I was going to cry. I felt a little bit emotional.
“Then, I said to myself, well, we made it. For the last time. We gave it a good try and that’s the main thing.”
Live The Dream, an 8-1 shot, overhauled pacesetter Fly Till Dawn to win the Fiesta, which was run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, by a neck. A 4-year-old son of Northern Baby trained by Charlie Whittingham and ridden by Alex Solis, Live The Dream is something of an specialist after dark. He also won the Hollywood Derby under the lights last Nov. 19.
Horse Racing Notes
The attendance Friday night was 22,928, compared to 24,529 the previous week, but better than track officials had estimated. . . . Having determined the horse isn’t competitive on this circuit, Hollywood Park management refused Thursday to let Mighty Buck, an 8-year-old who has been last in seven consecutive races, enter today’s third race, a $20,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles. . . . Julio Garcia, disqualified aboard Orrefor in Thursday’s seventh race, was suspended five days by the stewards, beginning next Wednesday.