Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hollywood Turf Festival: Final Day Pictures

Victor Espinoza drives DRESS CODE home in the day's third for owner Janet Dante and trainer Mike Puype.
Corey Nakatani warms up for the Hollywood Derby with a rail skimming ride on JUST FISHIN, which made all the difference for owner Thomas L. Nicholas and trainer Beau Greely.
Nakatani's move was timed just right to hold off tough luck WICKED FINANCE (#8, outside) and Martin Pedroza for Class Racing Stable and trainer Eric Kruljac.
SEEK AGAIN tasting the win as he entered the Hollywood Park paddock.
Jockeys wearing their colors...Corey Nakatani leading the charge in Juddmonte Farms colors, giving his peers a preview of what they'd see in the final Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park.
Trainer Carla Gaines (right) keeps a watchful eye on handsome GERVINHO, a California bred son of UNUSUAL HEAT, for owner Keith Brackpool.
SEEK AGAIN made a favorable impression, as many of English trainer John Gosden's runners do.
ADMIRAL KITTEN and Julien Leparoux had game faces on for trainer Mike Maker and owners Ken & Sarah Ramsey.
AMEN KITTEN won the looks contest...this Ramsey runner, for trainer Wesley Ward, signaled he's ready to achieve according to his looks with a late-running third place finish at 39-1 with Javier Castellano.
As most John Shirreffs trainees do, Stronach Stables' ROOKIE SENSATION was fit as a fiddle; however, not even Victor Espinoza's kind hands weren't enough to harness his speed.
The turf chute background provided a picturesque setting for the final Hollywood Derby run at "The Track of the Lakes and Flowers."
A classy individual, SEEK AGAIN strode home with another signature turf ride from Corey Nakatani.
Succulents, not flowers seen for renewals of the Hollywood Derby gone by, provided the backdrop for SEEK AGAIN's decisive score.
Rafael Bejarano and Martin Garcia enter the paddock riding Bob Baffert trainees in the day's 7th race.
Bejarano was all smiles aboard BATTLED for owner Kaleem Shah.
Garcia was also confident with his mount, SECRETSATMIDNIGHT for owners Mike Pegram/Karl Watson/Paul Weitman.
Stablemates battled to within a 1/2 length, but BATTLED and Bejarano were disqualified, elevating Garcia and SECRETSATMIDNIGHT; this began Bejarano's nightmare vs. Garcia.
EGG DROP entering the paddock first for owners Little Red Feather Racing and trainer Mike Mitchell...
...while DISCREET MARQ for owner Patricia Generazio and trainer Christophe Clement followed as the race would unfoled
As usual, Martin Garcia is quietly confident prior to the final Matriarch at Hollywood Park.
Rafael Bejarano, apparently shaken by the DQ in the previous race, may not have been at his best as he walked tot he paddock for the Matriarch.
EGG DROP, prepared by the most underrated trainer on the Southern California circuit, Mike Mitchell, and Garcia have become a formidable tandem.
The Matriarch field had this view of Martin Garcia; they were mesmerized by the "little red feather."
As is the norm for this barn, DISCREET MARQ was impeccably prepared by Christophe Clement.
Joel Rosario happy to feel California sunshine aboard Pamela Ziebarth's G.I winning Cal bred TIZ FLIRTATIOUS, trained by Marty Jones.
Javier Castellano and DAYATTHESPA, for trainer Chad Brown
Defending Matriarch Champion BETTER LUCKY, sporting her winter coat, with Julien Leparoux up for trainer Tom Albertrani and Godolphin Racing.
DISCREET MARQ heads EGG DROP; DAYTATHESPA could not quicken and WISHING GATE was not able keep pace while BETTER LUCKY unleashed her patented stretch run.
DISCREET MARQ gave Bejarano her best and appeared headed for victory.  However, EGG DROP gamely re-rallied in deep stretch under the finishing power of Garcia to win by the scantest of noses.
Billy Koch, leader of the Little Red Feather partnership group, celebrated their first G.I victory since SINGLETARY won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures...drop me a line in the comment section below or on Twitter @Amateurcapper. I'd love to read your thoughts on the card, and on thoroughbred racing in general.


Brian Appleton said...

Hey Rob, I love your pictures as always! Those Kittens are such good lookers.
I wonder if you could answer a question for me: In the photos with Seek Again you can notice a very distinct line from his neck to his tail where his coat is much darker on top and then very light again until his legs. I've noticed that on a few other horses. Do you know what that's from?


Amateurcapper said...

Hey Brian,

Sorry so late getting back. No, I don't know why Seek Again was two tone, like a car. My guess is that he had a little skin issue, perhaps from the ship? When I get to SA for a.m. works, I'll ask one of the trainers.

You are right about the Kitten's Joy offspring...I was particularly in awe of Amen Kitten. He was huge odds but ran well, to his looks, to be 3rd. He's one I'll watch to see if he matures more as a 4y.o.

Thanks for taking the time to look/comment. If I don't type at you before then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.