The early days of Hollywood Park attracted stars, both equine and human. The final Hollywood Gold Cup card demonstrated what the famed race track was and reminded me of what it never will be again. Here's the first installment of my tribute to the Track of the Lakes and Flowers, perhaps my final summer foray to what was once known the City of Champions: Inglewood, California.I arrived a bit late, but just in time for a Joe Talamo Pick 3 beginning in race 3. This Cajun can really ride!!!
Fittingly, Talamo had a huge afternoon on a day when Eddie Delahoussaye was honored between races.
|Gnarly Dude for Kretz Racing, LLC and Kristin Mulhall started Talamo's natural triple.|
|Gnarly Dude (Mr. Greeley-Silver Calling, by Silver Deputy) all alone at the wire.|
|Cast a Doubt sent hearts racing for Tachycardia Stables and Ron Ellis.|
|Cast a Doubt (Wildcat Heir-Casting Pearls, by Fusaichi Pegasus) was the easiest kind of winner in the $50k maiden claimer.|
|Schiaparelli - Initially smiling or grimacing, you make the call, while well away from the other Royal Heroine Mile runners.|
|Schiaparelli giving her groom a workout...|
|...and the workout continued the whole time she was in the paddock.|
|Talamo was amused at his mare's anitcs; overheard him saying to Puype he'd be worried if she wasn't acting up.|
|Mike Puype was more comfortable after Talamo's comment, but still looked anxiously confident.|
|Talamo's wild ride on Schiaparelli started as soon as he mounted!|
|Schiaparelli finally calm...winners know when it's game time.|
|Talamo wisely keeps aggressive Schiaparelli away from the others until they go in the gate.|
|After setting fast fractions, Schiaparelli (Ghostzapper-Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags) kept right on going to capture her first graded stakes in the G.II Royal Heroine Mile.|
The human stars, not just actively racing or training, graced us with their presence.
|Actress June Lockhart (center w/ hat) presented the Royal Heroine Mile trophy.|
|Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay, Jr.|
Back to the racing, STOP SMILING did her best to make SoCal racing fans forget her accomplished older sister and dual G.I winner WEEMISSFRANKIE.
|Stop Smiling (It's No Joke-Starinthemeadow, by Meadowlake) has a kind eye...|
|...but under the patient handling of Julien Leparoux...|
|...Stop Smiling was guided off the rail to take dead aim on well fancied Abide in Me with that man Talamo...|
|...but Stop Smiling wore down the leader in deep stretch and posted a 15-1 upset to break her maiden at first asking, just as big sis Weemissfrankie did. Was it a harbinger of graded stakes success?|
That's part one of a two part tribute to the Hollywood Gold Cup and the magnificent racing cards that I've enjoyed at Hollywood Park over the years.
Watch for part two on Wednesday!!!