Photo: Hollywood Park
a losing streak that extended 16 races, Unusual Suspect was the surprise winner
of the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Saturday at Hollywood Park.
at 10-1 in the field of eight, the 6-year-old Unusual Heat horse out of the
Crested Wave mare Penpot collared pacesetter
Temple City in the final
strides to earn the first Grade I victory of his career.
joining Prince Spellbound, who won the second division of the Turf Cup in 1982,
as the only California bred winners of the race, Unusual Suspect was up to win
by a head under jockey Corey Nakatani.
by trainer Barry Abrams, his wife Dyan and brother David, who bred the dark
bay, Unusual Suspect has now won nine of 55. The $150,000 payday enabled him to
become a millionaire. His bankroll is $1,035,171. Seven of his wins have come
the 1 ½ miles in 2:25.83, Unusual Suspect paid $22.40, $9.40 and $5. Temple City, who relaxed
well under jockey Joe Talamo, paid $6.20 and $4. He finished three-quarters of
a length in front of 15-1 outsider Buenos Dias. The show price on Buenos Dias,
who trailed for the first eight furlongs, was $7.
broke really well and I was in a pretty good position,’’ said Nakatani after
his third Turf Cup victory, but first since he scored with Lazy Lode in 1998.
“They were going slow, so I just let him do his own thing. What more can I say?
team put him together and put him in the right spot for me and made me look
good. At the very end when I called on him, he kind of gave me that surge that
I thought he would and we were able to get there.’’
win was the first for Unusual Suspect since he popped at 24-1 in the Cougar II
Handicap over the Polytrack at Del
Mar Aug. 5, 2009.
give him some time off and see how he comes out of the race, then think about
sending him to Australia in a couple of months,’’ said Abrams. “This horse
deserves to be a stallion.
in this country distance horses aren’t popular stallions. So my thinking, if I
send him to Australia
I can race him there a year and then retire him to stud.’’
Gently, the 2-1 second choice, had to settle for fourth in her quest to become
the second female winner of the Turf Cup. She finished a nose in front of Worth
Repeating, then came Marlang, Bit Shot Syd and 19-10 favorite Where’s the