In Saturday's Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park, Grandeur powered home in the final quarter of a mile
to defeat 29-1 shot Interaction and eight others, becoming the first
3-year-old to win since Bien Bien – who was moved up to first after the
disqualification of Fraise – in 1992.
Trying 1 ½ miles for the first time after a troubled runner-up
effort behind Unbridled Command in the Grade I Hollywood Derby Nov. 25,
Grandeur laid relatively close to the moderate fractions, swung outside
the run home and proved best for the second time in three races in the
Owned by Yvonne Jacques and now in the barn of Paddy Gallagher, the
gelded son of Verglas and the Desert Sun mare Misskinta completed the
distance in 2:27.95 while winning by three-quarters of a length.
The victory was his sixth in 12 starts, pushing his earnings to $398,438. The gray has been worse than third only twice.
Favored for the second time in this country, Grandeur paid $5.20, $3.60 and $2.60.
“I really didn’t do much with him,’’ said Gallagher. “I didn’t have to. This was his third graded race in six weeks.
“I’m just thankful that the owner left him with me. She lives in
Europe and I believe the plan was to take him back there, depending on
what he did today and eventually run him in Dubai. I’d sure like to keep
him, but he’s going back to (his former trainer) Jeremy Noseda.
The win was a meet-high fifth in a stakes and third in the Turf Cup
for Gomez, who returned to action Saturday after missing the previous
two days due to illness.
“I wasn’t happy with the horse I was following (Optimizer),’’ said
Gomez, whose earlier Turf Cup victories came with Boboman (2006) and
Sunriver (2007). “I wanted to find my way around him and then I thought
about sliding my way through Slim Shadey, but decided I didn’t like that
“As we approached the final turn, I decided to take him outside of
Optimizer and when I asked (Grandeur) he went on with it without a
Seventh in the Grade II Citation Handicap Nov. 23, Interaction
improved with additional distance, gaining second with a rail rally
under jockey Joe Talamo. The Argentine bred returned $19.80 and $11.80.
Seeking to give Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his first graded
stakes win at Betfair Hollywood Park since Surfside captured the 1999
Hollywood Starlet, Optimizer, another 3-year-old and the 4-1 second
choice, was third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Interaction.
The early leader under jockey Corey Nakatani, the English Channel
colt deferred to Slim Shadey down the backside, then had some minor
traffic issues in the stretch. The show price on Optimizer was $3.80.