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The Bat Signal Surprises at Oak Tree

Jockey Johnny Gihua, riding his final day with an apprentice allowance, earned his first Oak Tree victory with a 14-1 upset aboard The Bat Signal in a $50,400 allowance Friday at Hollywood Park.


A native of Peru, Gihua guided the 4-year-old Gotham City gelding out of the Avenue of Flags mare High Flying Honor to a 1 ¼ length win over 3-1 second choice Scofield Barracks. The final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:16.11.


Trained by Eric Kruljac, who co-owns the California bred with Peter Mizloch, The Bat Signal continued his love affair with Cushion Track.


The victory was his fifth in nine starts over the surface. Overall, The Bat Signal has seven wins in 16 races. He has earned $190,084.


Never far off the pace after breaking from the rail, The Bat Signal was angled to the outside by Gihua on the backstretch and took over the lead early in the stretch.


The third longest price in the field of seven, The Bat Signal paid $31.40, $9.20 and $4.20.


Scofield Barracks returned $4.20 and $3. The show price on Leothelion, who finished 1-1/4 lengths behind the runner-up, was $3.60. Inverness Cape, the 4-5 favorite on the strength of a debut win on Sept. 3 at Del Mar, finished last.


There was one winning ticket worth $60,652.20 in the Pick Six.


Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 1 p.m.


The third day of the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meet will be the most significant of the season. Four Grade I’s with Breeders’ Cup implications are on the menu.


The most anticipated of those races is the $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes, Presented by TVG. Heading the field of six is Zenyatta, who is undefeated in 18 starts. This will be the final Southern California appearance for the 6-year-old mare before she attempts to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.


In addition to the Lady’s Secret, the 10 race program includes the $250,000 Norfolk Stakes, Presented by Emirates Airline, the $250,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes and the $250,000 Goodwood Stakes. Both the Yellow Ribbon and Goodwood are presented by TVG.


A 90 minute telecast that will include the Norfolk, Lady’s Secret and Yellow Ribbon will be shown on ESPN Classic (3:30-5 p.m. PDT). The Lady’s Secret will also be on ESPN. Approximate post for a race Zenyatta has won the last two years is 4:15 p.m.

 

 

 

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