Ramon Dominguez, the 2010 Eclipse Award winner as the
nation’s outstanding jockey, won for the fifth time with his 10th
Turf Festival mount, guiding even-money favorite More Than Love to a very
narrow victory over stubborn longshot Starship Flare, who was ridden by
Espinoza, in the $100,000 Miesque Stakes.
Photo: Hollywood Park
Fresh off winning five races Thanksgiving Day at Aqueduct,
Dominguez, who leads all riders in 2011 with more than $19 million in purse
earnings, tracked Starship Flare for the entire trip, looked to have the 29-1
outsider measured with about a quarter of a mile to run, but needed every inch
of the stretch to prevail by the slimmest of noses.
Trained by John Terranova II for Samantha Regan’s Newton
Anner Stud, the 2-year-old daughter of More Than Ready and the Zafonic mare I’m
in Love won for the second time in three starts. A maiden winner Oct. 9 at Belmont Park
before coming to California,
More Than Love has earned $93,150.
Covering the mile in 1:36.32, More Than Love continued a
string of success for shippers in the Miesque. Six of the last seven renewals –
including both divisions in 2004 – have been won by a filly who had made their
previous start elsewhere.
The public choice for the first time in her young career,
More Than Love paid $4, $3.20 and $2.20.
“I didn’t really get any instructions,’’ said Dominguez,
whose first Miesque victory came with Louvain in 2004. “They just told me to
play it by ear. My filly broke forward and I just stalked the leader. She was
going real easily out there.
“I watched the replay of her last race in New York when she
broke her maiden. I knew today’s race was a step up, but at the same time that
was the case for everybody else.’’
This was the second graded win at Hollywood Park’s Autumn
meet for Terranova, 41. The New York-based trainer won the Grade I Hollywood
Starlet with Laragh in 2008.
A recent private purchase by owner Juliana Kretz and making
her first start for trainer Kristin Mulhall, Starship Flare paid $15.20 and
$6.20. She wound up 3 ½ lengths clear of 5-2 second choice Island Paradise. The
show price on Island Paradise was $2.80.
Your Special Day, who suffered her first defeat after two
sprint wins at Santa Anita, was a nose behind Island Paradise, then came Regal
Betty, Katie’s Ten and Raesunbridledfaith. Assateague, the 2-1 morning line
favorite on the strength of a decisive maiden victory Oct. 26 at Keeneland, was
scratched Friday morning.