Trainer Bob Baffert added a record fifth Hollywood Prevue to
his resume when favored So Brilliant led virtually throughout in the Grade III
Thursday at Hollywood Park.
Photo: Hollywood Park
A little more than one month since a debut victory at Santa
Anita, So Brilliant was a bit slow to begin after veering in at the start, but
took over through a moderate opening quarter mile (22.94), repelled a challenge
from longshot Hodge along the inside, then withstood the late bid of Brother
A 2-year-old gray son of Medaglia d’Oro and the Wekiva
Springs mare Merry Me in Spring covered the seven furlongs over Cushion Track
in 1:22.96. Owned by Arnold Zetcher, So Brilliant, who won by a half-length, picked
up $60,000 of the $100,000 purse to increase his earnings to $87,000.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, the 7-5 choice returned $4.80,
$3.20 and $2.60. A maiden making the second start of his career, Brother
Francis, a 5-1 shot, paid $5.20 and $4.20. The son of Lion Heart, who won the
2003 Prevue, was the runner-up in his initial outing Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.
Hodge, a 21-1 outsider who defeated Brother Francis 19 days
ago, paid $5.60 to show. He finished 1 ¼ lengths behind Brother Francis.
“He’s still learning day to day,’’ said Garcia of the
winner. “He has a lot more than he showed today. He’s still a little green.
“He broke in a little bit, but went right on with it. Let me
tell you, he’s a good horse. He was doing everything on his own, I didn’t even
have to ask him.
“I got into him in the stretch because I could feel the
others were gaining, but when he feels another horse coming up to him, he just
takes off. He’s such a nice horse.’’
Completing the order of finish in a field reduced to seven
after the scratch of Sweet Swap, were Sheer Talent, Muchos Besos, Empire Way
A chestnut son of Flatter and the Othello mare Oh Caramel,
Galex went wrong with about three-eighths of a mile to run. Second behind
eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle in the Jack Goodman Stakes
Oct. 10 at Santa Anita, Galex suffered injuries to his left front ankle and
sesamoids and had to be euthanized.
Before Thursday, Baffert’s other Hollywood Prevue victories
were with In Excessive Bull (1996), Commitisize (1997), Premier Property (1998)
and Massive Drama (2007).
The win by 11-10 favorite Muny in the third race was the 860th
at Hollywood Park for trainer Mike Mitchell, moving him into second place on
the all-time list. Charlie Whittingham has 859 victories. Bobby Frankel is the
leader with 952.
This was the second milestone Mitchell, 63, has achieved in
2011. He became the winningest trainer in the history of Del Mar when Backwoods Belle gave him his
437th victory Aug. 12.