When 4-to-5 favorite Cozi Rosie clipped
heels and nearly went down just a few strides after the gates opened for the
$100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (Grade III), the mile and a quarter turf journey
was all but assured to end with 7-to-5 second choice Malibu Pier capturing the
third graded stakes from her last four starts.
“She’s back,” proclaimed jockey Brice
Blanc referring to Malibu Pier's disappointing fifth place effort last time in the Gamely
(Grade I). “I knew I could probably get Joe (Talamo) so I was more worried
about Cozi Rosie getting the jump on me. At the quarter pole I tried to make
the same move I did with her in the Santa
Barbara and she just pulled away.”
Pace-setter Restless Soul with Talamo
aboard was adding blinkers today and allowed to get a clear lead while setting
soft fractions, however faded to third as the 4-to-1 third choice.
“The horse on the lead was going so slow.
You had me nervous,” trainer Carla Gaines told Blanc after the race.
After the troubled start, Cozi Rosie did
well to run on for second with Joel Rosario aboard for the first time. Mike
Smith, who finished a distant last in the short field of four with 10-to-1 long
shot Timezone, had ridden the four-year-old daughter of Pleasantly Perfect in
her first 11 career starts.
“I feel very badly about what happened to
Cozi Rosie, but you take your luck,” said Gaines, whose four-year-old daughter
of Malibu Moon pushed her earnings over $400,000.
Next up for Malibu Pier is either the
$750,000 Beverly D (Grade I) at Arlington
Park on August 13 or the $250,000 John
C. Mabee (Grade II) a day later at Del
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