In Monday's Los Angeles Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park, Roman Threat went gate-to-wire
for his second victory in three starts.
Photo: Hollywood Park
A 4-year-old gelded son of Roman Ruler and the Flying Chevron mare Shameful,
the 9-10 favorite is owned by breeders Patti and Hal J. Earnhardt III. Roman Threat quickly established command over 6-1 shot
Centralinteligence and those two didn’t change positions the entire journey.
A meet high fifth stakes victory enabled Hall of Fame trainer Baffert to
reach a Betfair Hollywood Park milestone. He has 84 local stakes wins, moving
him into a tie with D. Wayne Lukas for fifth on the all-time list. Charlie
Whittingham leads with 222.
In providing both Baffert and jockey Rafael Bejarano their first Los Angeles
win, Roman Threat, who has earned $123,600, completed the six furlongs in
1:08.57. He paid $3.80, $2.60 and $2.10 for the 1 ¼ length score.
“He’s fast,’’ said assistant trainer Mike Marlow. “Rafael
said he had so much horse that even in the stretch he didn’t really have to get
“He had a lot of little things wrong when he was two and three. We had to
(geld) him because he was tough to handle and wasn’t paying attention to his
Making only his second start in graded company, Centralinteligence wound up
1 ½ lengths clear of defending champion Camp Victory and returned $5.20 and
$3.40. The show price on Camp Victory, whose victory in 2011 came due to the
disqualification of Amazombie, was $3.
In his initial outing as a 7-year-old, Rail Trip, the winner of the 2009 Hollywood
Gold Cup, finished willingly for fourth. It was the first race in California
for the Jump Start gelding since he was second as the 2-5 favorite in the 2010
Ron Ellis, who trains both Centralinteligence and Rail Trip, was happy with
the performance of both geldings.
“(Centralinteligence) gave (the winner) a run,’’ he said. “That time on this
track is smoking. In his second start, (Roman Threat) made Amazombie run all
out and that’s a pretty good horse for crying out loud. Everything worked out
well. He just wasn’t good enough.
“I’m giddy at Rail Trip’s performance. For not having sprinted in four years
and the winner getting an easy first quarter mile, I thought it was just
awesome. (Jockey) Jose (Valdivia, Jr.) said he was going real smooth. With that
race under his belt, we’ll probably go seven furlongs the next time and then
stretch him out.’’
Completing the order of finish were M One Rifle, Sway Away and Dancing in
Silks, who has lost 11 in a row since his upset win in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup
Sprint. The 7-year-old was eased in the final eighth of a mile while more than
28 lengths behind the winner.
Earlier in the afternoon, apprentice jockey Vinnie Bednar, 20, gained his
first two victories at Betfair Hollywood Park, winning the fourth with 5-1 shot
Miles Long Gone and the sixth with 7-1 outsider Charlie’sboywins.
A great nephew of the late trainer Lou Carno, Bednar, who had previously
ridden at Turf Paradise, was 0-for18 at the Spring/Summer meet before his