INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 31, 2012)—A drop in class and the removal of blinkers proved the winning moves for Imperialistic Diva in the $58,050 feature (video) Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Providing leading jockey Rafael Bejarano with his second winner of the day, the 4-year-old Irish bred filly held off 18-1 outsider Score Boyera by a nose for her third lifetime victory.
Trained by Simon Callaghan for California Horse Racing Board member Charles Winner, Imperialistic Diva covered the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:43.66. The daughter of Haafhd and the Imperial Ballet mare Imperialistic increased her bankroll in 17 starts to $121,699.
After tracking the pace set by Plaza de Indias and Bwana Babe, Imperialistic Diva gained the advantage on the outside with a little less than an eighth of a mile to run in her first start since she trailed in the Grade III Wilshire Handicap April 29.
The win was the second in four starts over the Betfair Hollywood Park grass for Imperialistic Diva, who paid $7.40, $4.60 and $3 as the 5-2 second choice in the field of eight.
Third against $40,000 claimers a week earlier for trainer Kristin Mulhall, Score Boyera paid $14.40 and $7.80. The show payoff on Miss Radiance, who finished 1 ½ lengths behind Score Boyera, was $6.
Celestial Kitten, the 5-2 favorite who had won the restricted Spearfish Stakes over the local turf last Dec. 8, finished last. It was the first start for 4-year-old daughter of Kitten’s Joy since she was fourth in an optional claimer Feb. 5 at Santa Anita.
Bejarano, whose other win came aboard 9-2 shot Malibu Knight in the third, has 27 victories through 22 days of the Spring/Summer meet, leaving him five clear of runner-up Joe Talamo. Joel Rosario, who also won twice Thursday, is third with 17 wins.Racing resumes Friday. Post time is 7:05 p.m. General admission is $10 -$20 after 8:30 p.m.
At the conclusion of the eight race program, a concert starring Rebelution will begin at the North Park. Approximate start time is 10:30 p.m.
The feature attraction is the $70,000 Reminiscing Stakes, which will go at 7 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track. The field includes the Bob Baffert-trained duo of American Lady and Pink Lollipops, Spectacular Sky, Top Debutante and Suzettes Friend.
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