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Ultra Blend Impressive in Cat's Cradle

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Ultra Blend made it consecutive victories against California breds, taking charge late to win the $80,400 Cat’s Cradle Handicap Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Although the Cat’s Cradle had a formful result, there were some surprises in the Pick Six, including a 56-1 shocker by first time starter Ave Atalanta in the seventh race.

As a result, there will be a carryover of $106,356 when racing resumes Thursday. Post time is 12:30 p.m. The Pick Six begins in the third race.

Six weeks removed from a win in the California Cup Matron, Ultra Blend, a 4-year-old daughter of Richly Blended and the Desert Classic mare Ankha ran past Word Association in the final sixteenth of a mile to win by 3 ¼ lengths.

Owned by Nels Erickson and trained by Art Sherman, the 13-10 favorite ran the 7 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track 1:29.76. Ridden by leading jockey Joel Rosario, she returned $4.60, $2.60 and $2.20. The $50,400 payday increased her earnings to $367,646.

Bidding for her third win in a row, Word Association, the 4-1 fourth choice in the field of six, finished 2 ½ lengths in front of 15-1 shot Warren’s Jitterbug. Word Assocation paid $4.60 and $3.80. The show price on Warren’s Jitterbug was $4.

Warren’s Got Game, the longest shot in the field at 24-1, was fourth ahead of Camille C and defending champion U R All That I Am.

“She just tries all the time,’’ said Rosario after his fourth stakes win of the meet, tying him with Joe Talamo for the lead. “She broke a little slow and it took her a little while to find her stride. She’s been running long the last three races, so I wanted to give her time to get into a good stride. She picked it up and picked it up and eventually she got it right. She never quits and she loves to run. She’s a little filly, but she can run.’’

Sherman said Ultra Blend, who has won seven of 17 and been worse than third only twice, would be pointed to one of two Sunshine Millions races Jan. 29. The options are the $200,000 Filly and Mare Sprint at six furlongs at Gulfstream Park or the $300,000 Distaff at 1 1/16 miles on the new dirt surface at Santa Anita.

Rosario won two other races Sunday. With four days left in the Autumn meet, Rosario, the defending champion, holds a 39-27 lead over Rafael Bejarano. Talamo is third with 26 victories.




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