Jockey Garrett Gomez made it two graded stakes wins in less than 24
hours, guiding 13-10 favorite Den’s Legacy
to victory in the $100,000
Generous Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The Generous was the first of a pair of Grade III races for 2-year-olds on the second day of the Turf Festival.
Later in the afternoon, 11-1 shot Travesura wired eight rivals under jockey Tyler Baze in the $100,000 Miesque for fillies.
Owned by Westrock Stables and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert,
Den’s Legacy saved ground throughout, found a seam along the rail to
rally in the stretch and went on to win by a half-length over 7-2 second
choice Rising Legend.
A son of Medaglia d’Oro out of the War Chant mare Sunshine Song,
Den’s Legacy completed the mile in 1:36.32. The victory was his second
in seven starts and increased his earnings to $161,350. He paid $4.60,
$3 and $2.40.
The win was the third for Baffert in the Turf Festival and his
second in the Generous – he won with Mountain Rage in 2001 – and
continued a hot streak for Gomez. The rider won four races Friday,
including the Grade II, $250,000 Citation Handicap with Data Link.
Saving ground while 18-1 outsider Dancin Upside Down set the pace
with fellow longshots Christopher Street and Counting Days in close
pursuit, Den’s Legacy accelerated when called upon, ending a mild case
of seconditis for the Florida bred. He had been the runner-up in the
Zuma Beach Oct. 8 and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview
Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.
“I knew this horse would go through wherever I pointed him,’’ said
Gomez, who also won the 2007 Generous with The Leopard. “He’s pretty
handy that way. He was hitting the hole that wasn’t there yet.
“When the hole opened up, I told him, ‘let’s go.’ I just didn’t want
to go from zero to 100 as fast as I could. I kind of pushed the gas
pedal down and he kicked on. I didn’t want to get into him any more than
I needed. I didn’t think that (Rising Legend) could get to me.’’
Mike Marlow, Baffert’s assistant, thought the Generous was Den’s Legacy most impressive performance.
“When he turned for home and a hole opened up, he was right there
quick,’’ said Marlow. “(Gomez) just asked him and he gave him a quick
Making his first start for Hronis Racing LLC
and trainer John Sadler after winning two of six in his native Great
Britain, Rising Legend rallied from last to finish 1 ¼ lengths in front
of 5-1 shot Shining Copper, who was extremely reluctant to enter the
starting gate. Rising Legend paid $4.40 and $3.40 while the show price
on Shining Copper was $4.40.
One Firm Cat, Tree of Life, Under Review, Counting Days, Christopher
Street, Dancin Upside Down and Ekahi completed the order of finish.
A winner against maidens in her turf debut Oct. 12 at Santa Anita,
Travesura stretched out successfully, holding off 9-1 shot Pussycat Lips
and 5-2 second choice Flashy Ways.
Trained by Jeff Mullins for Val-U-Chem Inc., the daughter of
Limehouse and the Tale of the Cat mare Tempestra covered the mile in
1:37.01 while winning by a half-length.
Third and fifth in two starts over synthetic, Travesura won by 3 ¾
lengths at about 6 ½ furlongs in her initial try on grass before her
Pushing her bankroll to $95,600, Travesura paid $24.80, $8.40 and $6.20.
“I wasn’t really expecting to be on the lead,’’ said Baze, who had
teamed with Mullins a week earlier to win the On Trust Handicap with
longshot Killer Bear. “If they let me go easy, I’m going to take it. The
plan was to lay third or fourth. I really thought she could route after
her last race.
“I knew she would be tough today. This is a nice filly. Bigger and better things maybe.’’
Pussycat Lips, an Irish bred making her first start in the United
States, just missed giving Hronis, Sadler and Gomez a Saturday stakes
sweep. The Holy Roman Emperor filly flew late between horses to defeat
Flashy Ways, who was returning after finishing 11th of 14 in the Grade I
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, by a neck.
Pussycat Lips returned $10.20 and $5.60. The show price on Flashy Ways was $3.40.
The disappointment in the Miesque was 9-10 favorite Premier Steps. The
Irish-bred, who was making her U.S. debut for trainer Chad Brown after
finishing in a dead heat for second in a Group III in France in August, never got involved. She checked in sixth under Julien Leparoux.
“We got bumped pretty bad after the start and she never picked up
the bit,’’ said Leparoux. “The first part of the race, I had nothing,
but she finished pretty well in the stretch. I think she’s a little
green. I think she will be OK.’’
Prior to the Generous, Awesome Gem, the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup
winner, was paraded and made his final trip to the winner’s circle where
he was joined by trainer Craig Dollase, jockey David Flores, groom
Baltazar Marroquin and partners in the ownership group (West Point
Thoroughbreds) that campaigned the gelded son of Awesome Again.
Retired earlier this year at age 9, Awesome Gem won 11 of 52 starts
and earned $2,881,370. He will remain with Dollase at Betfair Hollywood
Park as a stable pony.