Sandtrap Wins Race, Inquiry
A change in tactics and a stewards’ decision that went his way made for a $30.40 upset by Sandtrap in the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express on Friday at Hollywood Park.
Burned up by suicidal splits in the Morvich Handicap last month at Santa Anita, the 3-year-old Irish River colt was taken back to sixth early in the Turf Express, then charged home to win by two lengths in 1:01 2/5 for the 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.
After crossing the wire, he and Alex Solis had to sweat out an inquiry when jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode third-place finisher Suggest, claimed foul for an incident on the turn.
Replays seemed to indicate that Desormeaux had a legitimate beef with a bump his horse took from the winner, but the stewards ruled there would be no change.
“When I asked him around the turn, he really kicked in,” Solis said. “He was amazing. What happened with [Suggest] was that he was laying out a little bit. I tried to get in between him and [Uncaged Fury] and he tried to push me into [Uncaged Fury]. His horse was the one that bolted because he was the one going around the turn and trying to push me in.”
The victory was the fourth in nine starts for Sandtrap, who was saddled by assistant trainer Jesse Mendoza. Trainer Ben Cecil was in England attending a wedding.
Nowhere to be found was Track Gal, the 13-10 choice. She finished last after acting up in the gate and stumbling at the start.
Trainer David Donk, who won the 1995 Arlington Million with Awad and who has won with about 19% of his starters this year, had never employed jockey Eddie Delahoussaye before Friday. He’s probably sorry he waited so long.
Under Delahoussaye, who won three times Friday, Donk’s Ascutney rallied from last in the final quarter-mile to win the $200,000 Miesque by a length.
A 7-1 shot who had a win and a second in her two previous tries on turf, the 2-year-old Lord At War filly covered the mile in 1:35 flat in beating Wealthy and six others.
“We shipped here for the $200,000,” Donk said. “This was the first time she’s been on this type of firm ground--that was my only question. This was the first time I’ve used [Delahoussaye]. Personally, he’s my kind of rider. I love the way he rides. I knew that I couldn’t have had a more intelligent rider.”
Looking for his third win in four American starts, Gentlemen is the 5-2 favorite against six opponents in the $300,000 Citation Handicap today. Trained by Richard Mandella, the 4-year-old Argentine-bred was last in his U.S. debut on the main track, then won an allowance race on turf at Del Mar and the Bay Meadows Handicap.
Horse Racing Notes
There was one perfect ticket in the Pick Six after a two-day carry-over and it was worth $604,329.20. . . . Isitingood won for the fourth time in his last five starts, beating Savinio in the $250,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. Ridden by David Flores for trainer Bob Baffert and owners Terry Henn and Mike Pegram, Isitingood paid $7.80 and covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 4/5.