Photo: Hollywood Park
A return to the Hollywood Park turf course enabled Gallant Son to end a losing streak as the 5-year-old outfinished favored Streakin’
Mohican to win the $81,898 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap Sunday.
Winning for the first time since he took the Grade III
Inglewood Handicap April 25, 2010, the son of Malabar Gold and the Exploit mare
Explicitly sat off the quick pace set by Streakin’ Mohican and California Flag,
moved outside entering the stretch to join the leaders, eventually prevailing by
a head after a stretch long duel.
Completing the six furlongs in 1:08.81, Gallant Son earned
his seventh victory in 25 starts for owners Chris and Diane Randall and Rossi
LLC and trainer Frank Lucarelli. The dark bay has earned $380,662.
The 9-2 third choice in the field of eight, Gallant Son, who
had lost eight in a row before the Kerlan, paid $11.20, $5.20 and $3.40.
One of two horses saddled by trainer Doug O’Neill, Streakin’
Mohican, who had won an optional claimer over the Hollywood Park grass May 20,
returned $4 and $2.80. He has not been worse than third in four races since
being claimed by O’Neill for $40,000 Jan. 23. Quick Enough, the barn’s other
starter, finished fifth.
Trying to give trainer John Sadler a fourth Kerlan victory,
Don Tito was third, 1 ¾ lengths behind the runner-up and a nose in front of
Raetodandty. The show price on Don Tito, an 11-1 shot, was $5.
Dancing in Silks, the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner, and
California Flag, who won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, finished seventh
and last, respectively.
“That was great,’’
said Smith after his first stakes win of the Spring/Summer meet. “It all worked
out. We got out of the one hole really well. That was the key.
“I knew I had a lot of horse, but he tends to wait when he
gets to the last horse. It wasn’t necessarily the one next to me (Streakin’
Mohican) that I was worried about. It’s getting caught because he waits. When
someone gets momentum on him, he can’t get it going again.’’