Justoneoftheboys, at 4 years old, is hardly the unbridled sort. But in the $108,000 Inglewood Handicap Sunday at Hollywood Park, he and jockey Jack Kaenel came up with one of those moves that causes people to say, "Well, that's racing."
Such was Eddie Delahoussaye's response after Justoneoftheboys slid outward on the final turn and took 3-to-5 favorite Palace Music with him, allowing Zoffany and Delahoussaye enough of an inside track to beat Palace Music to the wire by a neck before a crowd of 51,232, the largest of the meeting.
Zoffany's victory over the 1 1/8-mile turf track came in a track-record time of 1:45 2/5, and earned $63,300 for his owners. Meanwhile, Justoneoftheboys had little presence in the end, placing last in the six-horse field. But he played a major role in deciding this race.
Along with Blue Razor and front-runner Truce Maker, Justoneoftheboys was in front of the pack until the quarter-pole. With Zoffany and Palace Music trailing only a length behind, however, Kaenel pushed his colt outward, giving Zoffany the opening he used to eventually pass Truce Maker, the third-place finisher, and hold off Palace Music.
"Kaenel bumped me," said Palace Music's jockey, Bill Shoemaker, who was seeking his eighth Inglewood victory since 1956. "I don't know if it cost me the race, but it didn't help me any. I got carried out, Eddie went inside, and that was the race."
However, Delahoussaye didn't think so. Recognized as a strong finisher since its spectacular stretch rally in the John Henry Handicap here last month, Palace Music closed on Zoffany, but simply ran out of acreage.
"I heard him coming," said Delahoussaye, who won the Inglewood last year aboard Al Mamoon. "I knew there was only one horse that could be coming and that was him. I just hoped we could hold on. Ours was running, but his was running too.
"I got through, Shoe didn't. He (Zoffany) gave me a burst when I asked him, but I thought it would be a little more. He got a little tired. I wasn't sure whether I won or not. Shoe was so far out. I just kept my head down."
Through the first three turns, neither Zoffany of Palace Music looked strong. The two started slow, and were in the back of a tight pack until the final turn. Eight-year-old Truce Maker maintained the lead, though never more than a length or two.
"I wanted to go to the lead," said Truce Maker's jockey, Frank Olivares. "I was just surprised I got it so easy. I wanted to stay about a length ahead. He was just galloping down the backstretch. He dug in and ran really big."
Only one of Zoffany's three owners, Anthony Speelman of London, showed for the race. Speelman and trainer John Gosden, however, left for England immediately after the race.
Zoffany, who won the 1984 Hollywood Turf Cup, has now won 12 of 28 lifetime starts. Bred in New Jersey, the six-year-old Zoffany, at 121 pounds, was carrying the second-highest weight in the race, behind Palace Music's 124.
Zoffany, who is the son of Our Native, now has a career earnings total of $767,295.