her first win on turf in nearly two years, Briecat, a 13-1 longshot, led
throughout to take the $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap Sunday.
Grade II for fillies and mares was the closing day feature of the inaugural
meet for the Oak Tree Racing Association at Hollywood Park.
jockey Patrick Valenzuela with his third stakes win – second behind Rafael
Bejarano’s five - of the 22-day season, Briecat quickly took control from her
inside post in the field of eight, then gamely held Westwood Pride safe for the
by David and Holly Wilson and trained by Vladimir Cerin, the 5-year-old
daughter of Adcat and the Marlin mare Silk Briefcase won for the eighth time in
24 starts. With her first win in a graded event, Briecat increased her earnings
a firm turf course, the Florida
bred covered the mile in 1:34.77. She returned $29, $10.60 and $5.60. Briecat
was the longest priced winner of the Las
Palmas since Onceinabluemamoon’s 14-1 surprise in 1995
for owner Louie Rousell III and trainer Jack Van Berg.
Sunday, Briecat’s last turf victory had come in the Chandler Stakes Nov. 15,
2008 at Turf Paradise.
very, very tough on the lead,’’ said Cerin. “The key with her is to open up
when she turns for home and hope they can’t get her. Today they couldn’t.
still wasn’t confident running her today. We have her nominated for a race in Louisiana ($125,000
Treasure Chest) on the night of the Delta Jackpot (Nov. 20 at Delta Downs). But
I figured if we run her here, I won’t have to train her hard.
(Valenzuela) is just unbelievable. I told him if he was in a bank, they’d
arrest him for stealing.’’
for her third victory in five starts since joining the stable of Krisitn
Mulhall earlier in the year, Westwood Pride paid $7.20 and $3.80 while beaten
by a neck. Turning Top, the 5-2 second choice, returned $2.80 to show. She
finished a head behind Westwood Pride.
Ride, Distinctive, Princess Taylor, Blue Maiden, the 13-10 favorite and Value
Stream completed the order of finish.