was successful in his Southern California debut, running
past pacesetter Ultimate Eagle in the final eighth of a mile to win the
$250,000 Citation Handicap on the first day of the Turf Festival Friday
at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey for owner-breeder Stuart S. Janney III, the 4-year-old War Front colt completed the 1 1/16 miles in the Grade II in 1:41.00 while prevailing by 2 ¼ lengths.
In the process of winning for the seventh time in 15 starts, Data
Link gave jockey Garrett Gomez his fourth victory of the afternoon and
his second in a row in the Citation. The last rider to have gone
back-to-back in the race was Hall of Famer Gary Stevens – Fastness
(1995) and Gentlemen (1996).
Gomez, who had three victories through the first nine days of the
Autumn meet, captured the 2011 Citation with Jeranimo, who was fourth
Friday. Gomez has won the race a record four times.
Out of the Known Fact mare Database, Data Link has earned his wins
at five different tracks with Betfair Hollywood Park following Aqueduct,
Gulfstream Park, Keeneland and Monmouth Park. He’s earned $673,835.
The 5-2 second choice, Data Link paid $7, $3.80 and $2.60 in
providing McGaughey with his second Turf Festival victory – the other
was provided by Good Reward in the 2004 Hollywood Derby.
“We’re very pleased with the way he ran today and very pleased with
the way Garrett Gomez rode him,’’ said McGaughey by telephone. “They
went slow early, but then they picked it up and Gomez was in a great
spot. He got shuffled back last time (when fifth in the Grade I Shadwell
Turf Mile Oct. 6 at Keeneland) and lost all his position and then he
was wide on the turn. We think he’s a pretty good little horse. He’ll
ship Monday and we’ll see how he’s doing.’’
This was the first time Gomez had collaborated with Data Link and
wrapped up a day that also saw win the first with A Toe by Three, the
sixth with Woebegon and the seventh aboard Level Headed.
“He bounced away from there and put me in a good spot,’’ said Gomez
of the Citation winner. “From there I could decide whether to ease back
or stay where I was. He always traveled beautifully for me.
“I hit the front so soon I didn’t know what he was going to be like.
I never gave him a chance to ease himself down. When I got into him, he
Making his first start since finishing 10th as the 2-1 favorite in
the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap March 3, Ultimate Eagle broke extremely
well under jockey Martin Pedroza, relaxed through 24.17, 47.87 and
1:11.83 fractions while receiving token pressure from longshot Tale of a
The 2011 Hollywood Derby upsetter had a clear advantage into the
stretch, but couldn’t contain the winner, who angled outside for a clear
run in the final three sixteenths.
Ultimate Eagle, who was defeated for only the second time in six races
on turf, paid $4.20 and $2.80 as the 2-1 choice. Doubles Partner, a
Kentucky shipper for trainer Todd Pletcher, was a half-length back in
third and returned $2.80 to show.
Completing the order of finish were Jeranimo, Temple’s Door, Tale of a Champion and Interaction. Calimonco was scratched.
Earlier in the day, Kindle was a decisive winner of the $66,950 Cool
Air Stakes, quickly establishing command under jockey Edwin Maldonado
en route to a 2 ¾ length victory over Broken Dreams and three others.
Second behind Broken Dreams in the Grade III
Senator Ken Maddy Oct. 20 at Santa Anita, Kindle turned the tables in
her Betfair Hollywood Park turf debut, completing the six furlongs in
Trained by Gary Mandella for HnR Nothhhaft Horse Racing LLC, Kindle returned $5.40, $3.20 and $2.40 as the 17-10 favorite.
Broken Dreams, who was seeking her third win over the local grass,
returned $3.20 and $2.20. Schiaparelli, who suffered her first loss in
three starts for trainer Mike Puype, paid $2.40 to show. Journaliste and
Givine completed the order of finish. Madoffwiththemoney was a Friday
A 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie out of the Carson City mare
Carson’s Vanity, Kindle has won four of eight. The victory increased her
bankroll to $143,370.
In the subsequent race, Maldonado and Alonso Quinonez escaped serious
injury when involved in separate incidents in the starter allowance for
True Again, Maldonado’s mount, went wrong early in the 6 ½ furlong
race, unseating the rider. Maldonado was taken to nearby Centinela
Hospital Medical Center, was evaluated and later released.
Warren’s Rocky, Quinonez’s mount, broke down and fell in midstretch.
The rider walked back to the jockey’s room, but was excused from his
remaining mount in the seventh race.
True Again, who suffered a knee injury to his left foreleg, and
Warren’s Rocky, who incurred a condylar fracture of his right front
fetlock, were euthanized.