Photo: Hollywood Park
Despite drifting out
badly entering the stretch, favored American Act was able to get up and defeat
Senor Rain by a nose in the $72,350 Harry Henson Stakes on Thursday,
opening day of Betfair Hollywood Park’s Spring/Summer meet.
Ridden for the first
time by Rafael Bejarano, the 3-year-old Quiet American gelding earned his
second win in six starts for Howard and Janet Siegel Racing LLC and trainer
In a race switched from
turf to Cushion Track due to earlier rain, American Act completed the six
furlongs in 1:11.00. This was the first time the Henson, named in honor of the
legendary track announcer, had been run on something other than grass since
Salish Shaman won under jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. in 1999.
Cutting back in distance
after finishing seventh of 10 in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes March 10 at
Santa Anita, the even-money choice was last in a closely bunched field while in
the clear after breaking from outside in a field reduced to six starters.
However, with about a
quarter of a mile to run, American Act bore out and was seemingly out of the
Once the Henson
participants straightened for the stretch, the Kentucky bred surged on the far
outside and was able to edge the 9-2 third choice.
Out of the Boston Harbor
mare Revolutionary Act, American Act increased his earnings to $116,360. He
paid $4, $2.60 and $2.10.
“He never showed signs
of doing anything like that before,’’ said Carava. “He’s never so much as got
out a foot in the mornings, so it was a complete surprise. I don’t know what he
was thinking or what made him do it.
“Luckily he’s the kind
of horse who could overcome it. I kind of gave up hope. In the middle of the
stretch, I thought he could be second.’’
Eighth of nine in the
Grade I Santa Anita Derby in his prior outing April 7, Senor Rain, who finished
1 ¼ lengths in front of 3-1 second choice Consulado, paid $4 and $2.80. The
show payoff on Consulado was $2.80.
Completing the order of
finish were Chickie Charms, Sir Allison and Diamond of Blue.
Koast, the 5-2 second
choice on Russ Hudak’s morning line, was scratched Thursday morning when the
race was taken off the turf.
Passing Game was a
veterinarian scratch prior to the start. According to Betfair Hollywood Park
steward Tom Ward, the Game Plan colt was reported “off in the left front leg.’’
The Henson win was the
second in four years for Bejarano, who had tallied with Backbackbackgone in
Besides Bejarano, who
also won the fifth with favored Caelis, the only jockey with more than one win
was Agapito Delgadillo.
The veteran rider
captured the third with 6-1 shot Folk Dancer, then sprung a $106.60 shocker
with Banana Split in the sixth.
The victory by Banana
Split, a 3-year-old Posse filly who had been eased in her debut March 1 at
Santa Anita, was the first for trainer Beau Greely since Luv Dragon prevailed
July 18, 2010, the final day of the Spring/Summer meet at Betfair Hollywood
Racing resumes Friday.
Post time is 7:05 p.m.
champion older male of 2011, will make his first start as a 6-year-old in the
$100,000 Inglewood Handicap. A Grade III at 1 1/8 miles on turf, the Inglewood
is the third race. Scheduled post time is 8:05 p.m.
After the nine race
program is concluded, the “Friday Night Live’’ concert series for the 2011
Spring/Summer meet will begin. The feature attraction is the San Diego-based
Approximate start time
for the concert, which will be held at the North Park, is 11 p.m.