From start to finish, it was a productive day for Clover Racing Stable.
Several hours after multiple-stakes winner Prized worked five furlongs at Hollywood Park in preparation for his comeback, Madjaristan won a trouble-filled Arcadia Handicap.
In reprising Prized's 1990 success in the $172,900 turf race, Madjaristan beat Trebizond by a nose as the first seven finishers were blanketed on the wire.
Before the 5-year-old Irish River's 5-1 upset in 1:33 1/5 was official, he also had to withstand a foul claim from jockey Corey Nakatani, who finished sixth on Pharisien and definitely deserved a better fate.
Beaten by a nose, two necks and two heads, Pharisien lacked room approaching the wire. Nakatani claimed his horse was bothered by the winner and others. The stewards made no change in the order of finish, however, ruling Nakatani anticipated an opening that didn't materialize.
"They should have taken down the first two horses, at least," said Nakatani. "He was tons the best."
Unlucky in his American debut when he was second by a half-length Feb. 16, Madjaristan had relatively clear sailing in the field of 13, rallying from eighth in the final quarter of a mile.
"It feels nice to win a big one again," jockey Eddie Delahoussaye said. His runner-up efforts on Festin in the Santa Anita Handicap and on Evanescent earlier in the day gave him 54 second-place finishes for the meeting.
Madjaristan's victory gave Delahoussaye three winners, increasing his total to 36. "I got lucky and got through on the inside. He accelerated real well. The last time, I went inside with him and had to steady," Delahoussaye said.
Trainer Neil Drysdale, who said Prized went five furlongs in 1:03 Saturday morning for an anticipated return in the Shoemaker Handicap April 28, had no problems with Delahoussaye's trip.
"It was a lovely ride," he said. "He had trouble finding his way through, but when the hole opened up, he got him up. It looks like this horse has adapted to the U.S. style of racing. It's quite encouraging."
Trebizond, another 5-1 shot, finished a neck ahead of 29-1 shot Major Moment, who set very fast fractions (22 1/5, 45, 1:08 1/5 and 1:20 3/5) but failed to hold on.
Neptuno, the 3-1 favorite, was seventh after trailing for the first six furlongs. Blaze O'Brien and Diable Au Corps were scratches.
Taffeta And Tulle and Bequest, who finished a head apart in the Buena Vista Handicap two weeks ago, will get together again today in the $165,300 Santa Ana Handicap.
Making her first start since finishing second to longshot Countus In in the Hollywood Matriarch Dec. 2, Taffeta And Tulle and Chris McCarron held off Bequest, who was hindered once more by a bad break. She has left the gate slowly in all four of her U.S. races for trainer Neil Drysdale.
Trained by Charlie Whittingham, Taffeta And Tulle is a 5-year-old Nureyev mare who will carry 121 pounds, four pounds more than Bequest.
A 5-year-old Sharpen Up mare, Bequest won her first two starts in this country, then lost by a head to Petalia in a division of Hollywood Park's Dahlia Handicap before losing to Taffeta And Tulle in the Buena Vista. Delahoussaye again has the mount.
Others scheduled to race 1 1/8 miles on turf in the Grade I event are Betty Lobelia, Noble And Nice, Somethingmerry, A Wild Ride, Annual Reunion, Senora Tippy and Marsha's Dancer, Whittingham's second entrant.
Horse Racing Notes
Excavate, who failed badly in last week's San Rafael Stakes, will join stablemate Compelling Sound in next Sunday's San Felipe Stakes, according to trainer Charlie Whittingham. . . . Besides the Big 'Cap, Gary Stevens also won the $52,500 B. Thoughtful Stakes aboard 8-1 shot Mahaska. Making her second start on the turf, the 4-year-old Just In Time filly defeated Odalea by three-quarters of a length. Trained by Mike Puhich, Mahaska paid $18.80 and completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12 3/5.