HOLLYWOOD PARK : Cyrano Storme Wins by More Than a Nose
Even though Jean-Pierre Dupuis didn’t think so, there was an upset in the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express on Friday at Hollywood Park.
Cyrano Storme’s trainer wasn’t surprised when the 5-year-old gelding defeated Lakota Brave, Pembroke and six other sprint specialists, but he was in the minority.
Ending a four-race losing streak and winning for the first time since June 1, Cyrano Storme paid $23.40 as the fifth betting choice, winning by half a length in 1:01 3/5 for the 5 1/2 furlongs.
After hesitating at the start and getting away second to last, the son of Cyrano De Bergerac saved ground early, then he and jockey Rene Douglas split horses in the stretch and won for the fifth time in 27 starts.
Lakota Brave, who cost himself a victory in the Ancient Title Breeders’ Cup Handicap when he reared at the start, broke in the air Friday, then rallied to defeat Pembroke, the 9-10 favorite in his final race, by a head for second.
“That’s all we needed, a good trip,” Dupuis said. “You know when they get through, they’re going to win. He got a good trip today and he’s a very nice horse.
“If you look at the form very closely, I fit with these horses. I raced four times against Pembroke and beat him twice.”
Cyrano Storme had defeated Pembroke in the Jack Disney for his last victory, then was beaten twice by Friday’s favorite in the Bedside Promise and Hollywood Budweiser Breeders’ Cup.
While the winner was getting through along the inside, Pembroke, who will now go to stud in Kentucky, rallied widest of all into the stretch and lost his punch.
“I guess it’s time for him to retire,” jockey Kent Desormeaux said of the beaten favorite, who set a world record for 5 1/2 furlongs when he won the Hollywood Budweiser Breeders’ Cup. “They ran too fast for him. He ran his race. Everything was perfect.
“I rode him like the 1-5 I thought he was. Turning for home, I got first run [on Cyrano Storme], but the winner outsprinted him home.”
It didn’t take long for Antespend to make herself at home in California.
Less than a month after arriving from Kentucky, where she won three of four starts, the 2-year-old Spend A Buck filly won the $200,000 Miesque Stakes.
Taking advantage of a perfect trip under Chris Antley, chasing runaway pacesetter Gastronomical, the 9-5 favorite, while coupled with sixth-place finisher Colcon, Antespend got the lead in mid-stretch and went on to beat 13-1 shot Wheatly Special by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:34 1/5 for the mile on turf.
This was the second stakes victory for Antespend, who is owned and was bred by Jack Kent Cooke, and it wasn’t the first time a member of her family has had success in a grass stakes at Hollywood Park. Her dam, Auspiciante, won the Matriarch in 1986.
“We’ve had her long enough to work her twice,” said trainer Ron McAnally, who also trained Auspiciante. “Chris [McCarron] worked her once and then [Antley] worked her and they both said, ‘She’s all right. She’s a good filly.’
“This filly, believe it or not, is much better looking than her mother was. Her mother looked like she could pull a starting gate--one of those big draft horses. This filly’s pretty.”
Wheatly Special, who won the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies at nearly 23-1 earlier this month, finished two lengths ahead of Platinum Blonde. Gastronomical, who added blinkers and ran the half-mile in 45 2/5 and six furlongs in 1:10, faded to fourth as the 4-1 second choice.
Fastness will be trying to avoid what happened to Hennessy six days ago when he goes against half a dozen opponents in the $300,000 Citation Handicap today.
Second to Unbridled’s Song in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Hennessy was beaten by Cobra King as the prohibitive choice in the Hollywood Prevue Breeders’ Cup last Sunday.
Fastness was second to Ridgewood Pearl in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and will be a solid choice in the Citation, run at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
Owned by Carol and C.N. Ray’s Evergreen Farm and trained by Jenine Sahadi, Fastness was second in both of his races in New York, but was extremely uncomfortable on the soft turf. He figures to move up with firm going and is the 6-5 favorite on Russ Hudak’s morning line. Gary Stevens will again ride the 5-year-old gray, who drew the rail.
Romarin, the runner-up to Fastness in the Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar in his last start on Aug. 6, is the 2-1 second choice.
The field also includes Royal Chariot, Celtic Arms, Earl Of Barking, Silver Wizard and Johann Quatz, who hasn’t won in about two years and will be making the final start of his career before going to stud.
Horse Racing Notes
On his second day back after missing four months of racing for various reasons, Pat Valenzuela won with his second mount, favored Count Kattman in the seventh race. Valenzuela had finished last Thursday on 16-1 shot Alaskan Revelation in the fifth race. . . . Trainer Bill Spawr won three races Friday, taking the first with Seattletoo, the third with Conejo and the ninth with River Scout.