Silver Charm's first race at Churchill Downs concluded better than did his second Saturday.
A little more than 13 months after his memorable victory in the Kentucky Derby, the gray son of Silver Buck was upset in a race that was to be a showcase for him.
Ridden perfectly by jockey Pat Day, Awesome Again, a 5-1 shot, rallied in the stretch to beat the 2-5 favorite by a length in the $799,500 Stephen Foster Handicap.
The winner of the Queen's Plate in Woodbine and the Jim Dandy at Saratoga last year for trainer David Hofmans, Awesome Again is perfect in two starts for Pat Byrne, who is training exclusively for owner Frank Stronach.
This wasn't the first time a Stronach-owned horse had upstaged Silver Charm. Touch Gold denied trainer Bob Baffert and Bob and Beverly Lewis' colt the Triple Crown with a win in the 1997 Belmont Stakes.
Robb, a 46-1 shot, set the early pace Saturday, with the Baffert duo of Semoran and Silver Charm in pursuit and Awesome Again a couple of lengths behind them.
Semoran took over after Robb called it quits, with Silver Charm rallying on the outside, and Day and Awesome Again were able to split horses and draw away at the finish. The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:48 3/5.
Losing for the first time in four starts this year, Silver Charm, who drifted in nearing the wire, finished 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Semoran, who took some bad steps in the stretch under Kent Desormeaux and returned lame.
A 4-year-old, Canadian-bred son of Deputy Minister, Awesome Again has five wins in eight starts. He broke his maiden in his second appearance, on June 5, 1997, at Hollywood Park.
Awesome Again paid $13.80 and the $495,690 payday pushed his earnings to $1,052,190.
A winner of six grass races, including a 12-1 upset in the Hollywood Derby last fall, Subordination, a 4-year-old Mt. Livermore colt also showed his love for a sloppy track with a gate-to-wire win in the $300,000 Brooklyn Handicap on Saturday at Belmont Park.
With Eibar Coa riding for trainer Gary Sciacca, Subordination, a 6-1 shot, went right to the front, set fast splits and went on to beat Sir Bear by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:46 3/5 for the 1 1/8 miles.
Subordination has won nine of 18 lifetime, and the Brooklyn win came a month after he won the Fort Marcy by eight lengths in the slop at Aqueduct.
Accelerator, the 3-1 favorite, finished fourth, almost three lengths behind the winner.
Deputy Commander, whose biggest wins came in the Travers Stakes and Super Derby last year, and who was second to Skip Away in the Breeders' Cup Classic, has been retired after being injured while running second in the Californian on May 31.
Owned by a partnership that included trainer Wally Dollase and Mandysland Farm, the 4-year-old son of Deputy Minister suffered a small tear of the suspensory ligament in his right front leg.
Deputy Commander finished his career with four victories from 10 outings and earnings of $1,906,640.
Looking for his fourth graded-stakes win of the year, Hawksley Hill is the 9-5 favorite against six others in the $400,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile today at Hollywood Park.
Successful in the Arcadia and El Rincon Handicaps, the 5-year-old Rahy gelding is fresh off a win in the San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields. His only defeat came when he finished third behind the talented Joyeux Danseur in the Early Times Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Trained by Neil Drysdale for owners Dave and Jill Heerensperger, Hawksley Hill will be ridden by Gary Stevens.
Drysdale will also be represented in the Grade II grass race by Labeeb, who is the 3-1 third choice. A 6-year-old with some quirks--he unseated jockey John Velasquez in a race in New York last year--he has won all three of his races on the Hollywood Park turf.
In his only start of 1998, he won the San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita on April 18. Two of his wins in Inglewood came in the 1995 Hollywood Derby and the American Handicap the following summer. Desormeaux will ride.
The 5-2 second choice is Fantastic Fellow, who set a course record the last time he ran on the Hollywood Park turf. He won the Inglewood Handicap on April 26, beating Via Lombardia in 1:38 3/5 for the 1 1/16 miles.
Completing the lineup are Uncaged Fury, El Angelo, Vetheuil and Expelled.
The Shoemaker is the main event in the day's Pick Six, which Hollywood Park has guaranteed will have a $1-million pool.
Besides California, 36 other states are offering wagering on Hollywood Park's Pick Six this afternoon.
Heavily favored Budroyale won for the third time in four starts since being claimed for $50,000 by owner Jeffrey Sengara and trainer Ted West, easily taking the $100,000 Super Diamond Handicap on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The 2-5 favorite against four other California-breds, the 5-year-old Cee's Tizzy gelding took over on the far turn and coasted home by nine lengths under jockey Matt Garcia. Budroyale completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 3/5 in beating Ready Eddie; Strategist; Native Desert, the 7-2 second choice; and Cee Me Tizzy.
West said Budroyale might return in the $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28.
He has no illusions about beating Skip Away or Gentlemen at equal weights in the race, but third money is $120,000 and the field probably will be small.
"We're going to think about it," he said. "If we can run third in the Gold Cup and get that kind of check, that would be better than winning most of the races we're planning on running in."