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My Summer Slew Upsets Unzip Me

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

My Summer Slew remained unbeaten on the Hollywood Park turf course, scoring a mild upset in the $75,410 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap Sunday.

Providing jockey Alonso Quinonez with his second stakes win at Hollywood Park, the 5-year-old Siberian Summer gelding and the Slewpy mare My Bouquet became the second California bred winner of the Kerlan in four years, joining Scottsbluff, who won in 2007.

After breaking from the rail, My Summer Slew angled outside pacesetter and 6-5  favorite Unzip Me almost immediately, drew even with the lone filly in the race inside the final sixteenth of a mile and went on to win by three-quarters of a length.

Owned by breeder Nick Cafarchia and trained by Craig Dollase, My Summer Slew, the 7-2 second choice in the field of seven, ran the six furlongs in 1:08.40.

A winner in an optional claimer in his first over the local grass on May 2, My Summer Slew has won five of 13 and earned $196,292.

Now 3-for-4 on turf, My Summer Slew paid $9.20, $4.80 and $3. Stoneside, an 8-1 shot, was up in the final strides to gain second while between horses. He returned $7.80 and $4.40.

Unzip Me, whose win streak ended at five, paid $2.60 to show. She finished a nose behind Stoneside.

Scenic Blast, a Group 1 winner in both his native Australia and England, was fourth, one length back of Unzip Me, then came Noble Court, Cayambe and Kelly Leak.

“I tried to stay close to (Unzip Me) because I thought if I let her go too easy I wouldn’t be able to catch her,’’ said Quinonez, whose first stakes win here came with Medaglia d’Amour in the Wilshire Handicap on May 1. “It worked out perfect. When (Joe Talamo) asked (Unzip Me), she kind of opened up a length and a half at the quarter pole, but my horse was really comfortable.

“Turning for home, when he switched leads he was home. He runs well anywhere. Good horses can run on dirt, grass or anything.’’

Earlier in the program, The Usual Q.T. was successful in his return, winning a $64,900 allowance as the prohibitive favorite.

Making his first start since finishing fourth in the Dubai Duty Free on March 27 at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates, the 4-year-old Unusual Heat gelding out of the Western Fame mare Lunge defeated Dakota Phone and three others.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, The Usual Q.T., who won by a half-length,  ran the mile on turf in 1:34.47. The victory was his seventh in 14 starts and increased his earnings to $813,320.

The Usual Q.T.’s biggest win came in the 2009 Hollywood Derby last Nov. 29. Owned by a partnership that includes breeder Don Van Kempen and trained by Jim Cassidy, the California bred has won seven of nine on grass.

He paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10. Dakota Phone returned $3.60 and $2.20. Aggie Engineer, who finished 2 ¼ lengths behind Dakota Phone, paid $2.40.

Looking for his third riding title at Hollywood Park, Rafael Bejarano won three times Sunday to extend his lead in the standings. He has 59 wins, five more than Joel Rosario. Tyler Baze is third with 53.



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