Photo: Hollywood Park
Making his first start in 4 ½ months, Weewinnin
60-1 shocker in the inaugural running of the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes, the
closing day feature on a rainy Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
In a race restricted to 2-year-olds bred or sired in
California, the Comic Strip colt and jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. held off
Fighting Hussar and 2-1 favorite Monument to win for the second time in three
Away since finishing fourth in the Graduation Stakes Aug. 1
at Del Mar,
Weewinnin, who was purchased privately after defeating $32,000 maidens in his
debut at Golden Gate Fields June 16, covered seven furlongs over Cushion Track
Trained by Brian Koriner for a partnership that includes
E-Racing.com, Jill and Dr. William T. Gray and Janet Lyons, Weewinnin, who is
out of the Roman Dancer mare Honoree Lady, returned $122, $54.20 and $20.40.
The $110,000 payday pushed the dark bay’s earnings to $125,900.
Content to track the pace behind horses down the
backstretch, Weewinnin moved up three wide to engage the leaders around the
final turn, took the lead into the stretch and went on to prevail by a half-length.
“I think the public was just looking at the Beyers (speed
figures published in the Daily Racing Form) and said he just doesn’t belong,’’
said Koriner, explaining why Weewinnin was the second longest shot in the
field. “He ran a freaky race when he broke his maiden.
“When he ran (fourth) at Del Mar, we were a little upset,
but he came out of the race with (sore) shins. That’s why he didn’t go on. My
owners had me on the line for overpaying for him – I think we gave $100,000 –
but we got it all back today. He had been training great and I’ve been telling
the owners that he was going to win this.’’
Looking for his second victory of the meet, Fighting Hussar
menaced like he was going to overtake Weewinnin, but was actually losing ground
at the finish. An 11-1 shot, Fighting Hussar paid $12 and $6.80.
Defeated for the first time in races versus state breds,
Monument had no visible excuses while finishing three-quarters of a length behind
Fighting Hussar. The show price on Monument was $3.40.
Completing the order of finish were Tiz Minister, who wound
up 1 ¼ lengths behind Monument, Lovmeister, Surfcup, Back to Bako, Strong Wind,
Awesome Annie, Havoc and 5-1 second choice Hazardous.
Although Rafael Bejarano cut into the margin with five
victories in the final two days of the meet, Edwin Maldonado held on 25-24 to
win his first major riding title in Southern California.
A native of Puerto Rico, Maldonado, who turned 30 Dec. 1,
also captured the crown at Fairplex Park, ending Martin Pedroza’s 13-year
dominance of the Los Angeles County Fair meet. Garrett Gomez was tops among
jockeys with five stakes victories.
Trainer Bob Baffert earned his third Autumn meet title at
Betfair Hollywood Park – but first since 2001 – as the Hall of Famer finished
with 17 victories, three more than runner-up John Sadler. Baffert was also the
leader with four stakes wins.