INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 30, 2011)—Making her first appearance in a Grade I, Dubawi Heights won her fourth in a row, wearing down pacesetter Celtic Princess late to take the $250,000 Gamely Stakes by a head Monday at Hollywood Park.
A winner of the Grade III Wilshire Handicap in her initial start of the Spring/Summer meet, Dubawi Heights was never far off the moderate fractions under jockey Joel Rosario, then got the lead outside Celtic Princess, a 9-1 shot making her first start of 2011, in the final strides.
Trained by Simon Callaghan for a partnership that includes his father Neville, Clodagh McStay, M.V. Magnier and Annabel Wyatt, the 4-year-old English bred lost the first eight starts of her career in her homeland and the United States before beginning her roll.
The first win for the 4-year-old Dubawi filly out of the Suave Dancer mare Rosie’s Posy came against maidens last Nov. 20 on the Hollywood Park turf. She followed with an allowance score April 1 at Santa Anita before her Wilshire and Gamely wins. Her latest grass success increased her earnings to $655,196.
Completing the 1/18 miles in 1:47.29, Dubawi Heights, the 9-2 third choice in the field of eight, paid $11.40, $7 and $3.80.
Celtic Princess, who won gate-to-wire last Dec. 30 at Santa Anita in her first start for trainer A C Avila, paid $12 and $5. Cozi Rosie, the 19-10 favorite who finished 1 ¾ lengths behind Celtic Princess, returned $3 to show.
Restless Soul, the second longest shot in the cast at 27-1, was fourth, 1 ½ lengths back of Cozi Rosie, then came Malibu Pier, the 2-1 second choice, Éclair de Lune, Turning Top, who is also trained by Callaghan, and Madera Castana.
“Everything we’ve asked, she’s really come well for us, this filly,’’ said Callaghan after the first Grade I victory of his career. “She’s really improved and progressed each time.
“She was a good filly in Europe, stakes placed as a 2-year-old, but she’s had various injuries and setbacks which kept her off the track as a 3-year-old. She’s getting better with age and maturing. Getting a Grade I means everything. I am delighted for all of the owners. It’s fantastic. I couldn’t be happier.’’
Callaghan indicated Dubawi Heights could be pointed to the Beverly D. Stakes, a Grade I at 1 3/16 miles on turf which will be run Aug. 13 at Arlington Park.
The win was a meet high eighth in a stakes for Rosario and his first in the Gamely.
“That horse in front (Celtic Princess) got such an easy lead early, but my filly was traveling really nice and I had a lot of confidence in her,’’ said Rosario. “Last year when I rode her she was behind horses and had a lot of trouble. Now she showed me that she can run through anything. I can see the improvement from race to race. She gets a hold of the track a lot better. The more she races, the better she gets.’’
Rafael Bejarano, who rode the runner-up, was certainly happy with the effort he got from the Brazilian bred.
“At the top of the stretch, I thought I was going to win the race because I had so much confidence in her and she tries so hard,’’ said Bejarano, who won this event in 2010 with the late Tuscan Evening and with Precious Kitten in 2008. “She showed me a big kick. My horse and the other horse (Dubawi Heights) were the only two that kept running. They both finished really strong.’’
Nine days after being disqualified out of a graded stakes win with St Trinians in the Milady Handicap, trainer Mike Mitchell and jockey Joe Talamo had the stewards’ decision go their way in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap.
A Grade III at six furlongs over Cushion Track, the Los Angeles was run about 40 minutes before the Gamely.
Camp Victory, who was second, beaten a half-length, crossing the finish line, was awarded the victory after original winner Amazombie was disqualified and placed third for an incident in the stretch.
Rallying under jockey Mike Smith, Amazombie, who was shooting for his third win in a row, lacked room behind horses, then angled out under left handed urging, bumping with M One Rifle, who, then bumped with Camp Victory.
Stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward ruled that Amazombie “went for a hole without sufficient clearance’’, causing interference to both M One Rifle and Camp Victory and “costing both horses a chance at a better placing.’’
Claimed for $40,000 by Mitchell for a partnership Feb. 13 at Santa Anita, Camp Victory, who raced in blinkers for the first time in the Los Angeles, has won two of three for his current connections. His lone loss was by a nose to favored Regally Ready in the grassy San Simeon Handicap April 16 in Arcadia.
The stakes win was the second in three days for Talamo, who served the last of a three-day suspension Monday for the Milady disqualification. Talamo, who won the American Handicap, a Grade II, Saturday on 8-1 shot Ryehill Dreamer, was able to ride in both races because of their graded designation.
The 8-1 fourth choice in a field reduced to six after the scratch of Supreme Summit, Camp Victory, a 4-year-old gelded son of Forest Camp and the Clever Trick mare Victory Trick, returned $18.40, $7.40 and $3.80. The final time was 1:08.87. Camp Victory has won seven of 16 and earned $235,986.
M One Rifle paid $4.60 and $2.80. The show price on Amazombie, the 2-1 second choice, was $2.60.
Completing the field were Indian Firewater, Cost of Freedom, the 8-5 favorite who was seeking to become the second two time winner of the Los Angeles Handicap, and Gato Go Win.
A winner of five of his previous 10 races over Cushion Track, Cost of Freedom broke quickly from his outside post, was joined by Indian Firewater on the inside, battled with that one most of the way, then weakened in the final sixteenth.
“My horse did get affected a little bit when (Amazombie) came out,’’ said Talamo, who also won the Los Angeles in 2009 with Red Arrow. “He bumped (M One Rifle) and then (M One Rifle) bumped mine pretty good.
“I really thought he was going to win turning for home. Then he got bumped and shifted his weight a little bit. He was athletic enough to pick himself up and get going again.
“I think it would really have been close if I wouldn’t have gotten bumped. I felt he had a lot of momentum and then he got bumped sideways. Talk to my agent (Scott McClellan) over there. He’s going to put me just on stakes races from now on.’’
Smith offered no comment about the Los Angeles.
In Monday’s first race, jockey David Flores gained the 900th win of his career at Hollywood Park, directing 9-2 shot Wake Me Now to a neck victory over 6-5 favorite Startjumpin Marnie.
Racing resumes Thursday. Post time is 1 p.m.
The Hollywood Park Casino will be open for dark day simulcasts Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is free.
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