British pair make frame in Hollywood Derby
Report: USA, Sunday
Hollywood Park: Hollywood Derby (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
BRITISH-TRAINED pair Western Aristocrat and Slumber had to settle for minor placings in the frame as they took third and fourth behind upset winner Ultimate Eagle (Mike Pender/Martin Pedroza) in the Hollywood Derby.
The near-15-1 shot went wire-to-wire to land the $250,000 event, where the British duo did best of those coming from off the pace as Ultimate Eagle and Imagining were allowed to lope along on the front end.
With the pack closing in, Ultimate Eagle eventually got the better of pace rival Imagining tocomplete a turf four-timer with a three-quarter-length victory in a time of 2m01.43s.
Trainer Mike Pender, winning his first Grade 1 event, said: "It's miraculous considering where this horse came from.
"He had colic as a two-year-old and was basically pronounced dead on the table but somehow, by an act of God, he was brought back to life."
Only a half-length behind the runner-up was the Jeremy Noseda-trained Western Aristocrat, who had won the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont on his previous outing, with Charlie Hills's Slumber a neck further away after charging from the rear four wide.
Also on Sunday
Hollywood Park: Generous Stakes (Grade 3) 1m, turf, 2yo
The Dermot Weld-trained Blue White Fire was never a factor after a slow break and could finish only sixth of nine behind 9-1 winner Stoney Fleece (John Sadler/Joel Rosario).
The winner took advantage of a contested pace to score late in the stretch and maintain an unbeaten record on grass.