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E Z's Gentleman Sharp in Triple Bend

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

E Z’s Gentleman became a Grade 1 winner with an authoritative victory in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap.

In the process, the 5-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman and the Distinctive Pro mare Tensie’s Pro helped jockey Martin Pedroza make some Hollywood Park history.

The win for owner Arnold Zetcher and trainer Bob Baffert was the 1,000th at Hollywood Park for Pedroza, who will turn 45 on July 20.

The Panamian-born rider is only the 10th jockey to reach the milestone. He joins Laffit Pincay, Jr., who leads with 3,049, Bill Shoemaker, Chris McCarron, Alex Solis, Eddie Delahoussaye, Patrick Valenzuela, Gary Stevens, Corey Nakatani and John Longden on the exclusive list.

Pincay, Shoemaker, McCarron, Delahoussaye, Stevens and Longden are in racing’s Hall of Fame.

It was also the first win in a Grade 1 at Hollywood Park for Pedroza.

“When I used to be in the jock’s room with Shoemaker and McCarron I was the bambino,’’ said Pedroza. “That’s what Shoemaker used to call me, The Bambino.

“Now they call me the veteran here. I’m sweating so much because this is like winning the Santa Anita Handicap or six races in a day. To get my 1,000th win here in a Grade 1, it means a lot to me.’’

The win was the fourth in 15 starts for E Z’s Gentleman. He has earned $299,711.

The 7-2 third choice, E Z’s Gentleman paid $9.80, $4.80 and $3.20. Sangaree, the fourth choice at nearly 6-1 and also trained by Baffert, returned $4.80 and $2.60. He finished one length in front of 3-2 favorite Gayego. The show price on Gayego, who had won his two previous starts at Hollywood Park, was $2.40.

The final time for seven furlongs over Cushion Track was 1:21.11.

The win was the second in a row in the Triple Bend for Baffert and the third of his career. The Hall of Fame trainer won with Zensational in 2009 and with Letthebighossroll in 1996.

Before Saturday, Darrell Vienna had been the last trainer to win the Triple Bend in consecutive years. Vienna succeeded with Disturbingthepeace (2002) and Joey Franco (2003).



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