what was essentially a match race from start to finish, Skipshot wore down Sidney’s Candy in the final strides to win the $196,000
Swaps Stakes Saturday at Hollywood
4-1 second choice in the field of four, Skipshot tracked the prohibitive 1-5 favorite,
dropped back a bit early in the stretch, but kept to his task and was able to
prevail by a head in the Grade II under new rider Joel Rosario.
win in the Swaps was the first in a graded race for the 3-year-old Skip Away
ridgling and the Sunny’s Halo mare Heavenly Note. His best previous finish in
three earlier starts in graded events was a second behind Golden Itiz in the
Affirmed Handicap on June 19.
winner of four of 10 for Olympia Star Inc. and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer,
Skipshot increased his earnings to $213,030. He completed the 1 1/8 miles over
Cushion Track in 1:49.94.
116 pounds, six fewer than the favorite, Skipshot paid $10.20 and $2.60. There
was no show wagering.
assistant trainer (Dan Ward) told me to keep the pressure on Sidney’s Candy,’’
said Rosario, who holds a four winner lead over Rafael Bejarano (78-74) in the
jockey’s race entering the final day of the meet Sunday.
we let him get loose, maybe we’d never catch him. I continued to ride hard all
the way. If he beats me, fine. I thought we’d at least get second, but we beat
him, so that’s good.’’
his first start since he finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby on May
1 at Churchill Downs, Sidney’s
Candy looked to be on his way to his fourth stakes victory when he kicked away
from Skipshot with about three-sixteenths of a mile to run.
the Candy Ride colt, who set fractions of 24.29, 48.78, 1:12.82 and 1:36.70 for
the mile, couldn’t quite last as he sought his second win at nine furlongs. In
his first try at the distance, Sidney’s
Candy won the Santa Anita Derby on April 3. He returned $2.10 to place.
was training so well up to this race,’’ said Joe Talamo, Sidney’s
Candy’s regular rider. “I think that last little part just got him. He was
coming off a decent layoff, so I could see him maybe needing the race.
never know until you get them out in the afternoon. He’s still a great horse
and he’s going to bounce back.’’
Summer Movie, the Swaps longshot at 14-1, was only a half-length behind Sidney’s
Candy at the wire, he never threatened for the win. Alphie’s Bet completed the
order of finish. He was 2 ½ lengths behind Summer Movie.
the day’s other Grade II, Sweet August Moon took advantage of an opening along
the rail approaching the stretch and went to a 13-1 upset over five opponents
in the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap.
second longest shot in the cast, the 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon out of
earned the second graded score of her career. Her previous win had come in the
Las Flores Handicap, a Grade III, on April 5, 2009 at Santa Anita.
by Pete Parella’s Legacy Ranch and Shirley MacPherson and trained by Brian
Koriner, Sweet August Moon ran the seven furlongs in 1:21.77. She won by 1 ¾
lengths over 4-5 favorite Free Flying Soul.
victory was the sixth in 16 starts for the Pennsylvania-bred. She has earned
$336,396. She paid $28.20, $6.60 and $4.80.
was the first time Victor Espinoza was aboard Sweet August Moon and the win
continued a run of A Gleam success for the jockey. Espinoza has won the race
four times in the last eight years.
other victories came with Cee’s Elegance (2003) and Somethingaboutlaura
just got her to calm down a little bit,’’ said Koriner, explaining Sweet August
Moon’s improved performance. “We ran her in a tongue tie today and we’d never
run her in one before because she’s so ornery. There were a few little things
that made the difference.’’
Flying Soul, who was seeking her second stakes win of the meet after a victory
in the Desert Stormer Handicap on June 12, finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of
Will O Way.
winless in four tries at seven furlongs, Free Flying Soul paid $2.80 and $2.20.
The show price on Will
O Way was $5.
continues Sunday. Post time is 1 p.m.
main event is the $100,000 Sunset Handicap, a Grade III at 1 ½ miles on turf.
is also a carryover in the Super High Five of $48,518. The $1 minimum wager
will be offered in the 10th and final race. There is a mandatory
payout since it is closing day and the same applies to the Pick Six.