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Dominguez Nabs Miesque Aboard More Than Love

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park
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.


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.




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