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McCarron's Stakes Well Done

Horse racing: Jockey passes Shoemaker to set Hollywood Park record, rides five winners on day.

December 09, 2001|BOB MIESZERSKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Although he may not be close to either Laffit Pincay Jr. or Bill Shoemaker in terms of career victories, jockey Chris McCarron is now ahead of both of them in another category.

With victories on favorites Bella Bella Bella in the $50,000 Golden Ballet and Nepenthe in the $70,000 Waya, McCarron has won more stakes races than any other rider at Hollywood Park.

On a day when he won five races, the first time he has done that at Hollywood Park since 1986, McCarron upped his stakes total in Inglewood to 282, two more than Shoemaker and three ahead of Pincay.

A 2-year-old daughter of Soft Gold, Bella Bella Bella is now perfect in two starts after her two-length win at 4-5 in the Golden Ballet. The victory was fitting for McCarron, trainer Jenine Sahadi and owner Team Valor because they raced Golden Ballet, a talented, multiple-stakes winning California-bred who had to be retired earlier this year because of a tendon injury.

Outrun early while longshots Martial's Princess and Icantgoforthat battled through a quick half-mile, Bella Bella Bella took over in midstretch and went on to win in 1:162/5 for the 61/2 furlongs.

"This is the kind of achievement that you really want to stick your chest out about," McCarron said of his record-setting stakes victories. "I'm really proud because it is a lot of years of riding fast horses and being successful.

"It's a combination of a lot of years of work as opposed to winning a single event like a Breeders' Cup race. That is always a big thrill, but an accomplishment like this instills more pride in you.

"Anytime you link your name with Shoemaker and something he's done and then you've got Pincay right on your tail, what a thrill. It's simply unbelievable."

In the Waya, a race weakened by the scratch of morning-line favorite Keemoon, Nepenthe, the 4-5 choice, beat 7-1 shot Built To Last by a length in 2:301/5 for the 11/2 miles on turf.

Owned by Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable and trained by Ron McAnally, Nepenthe, a 4-year-old Broad Brush filly, has won four of 15 in her career.

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Taking advantage of the absence of Xtra Heat, who was scratched after coming down with a cough, Raging Fever, the 5-2 second choice, defeated 4-5 favorite Dat You Miz Blue to win the $82,775 Garland Of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct.

Making her first start since April 22 for owner Edward Evans and trainer Mark Hennig, the 3-year-old Storm Cat filly went right to the front under jockey Aaron Gryder and went on to win by 11/2 lengths in 1:101/5 for the six furlongs.

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For the first time in her life, Hallowed Dreams finished off the board as she was well beaten in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint at the Fair Grounds.

Unable to get close to the early lead, the 4-year-old Malagra filly quickly faded out of contention in a race eventually won by 20-1 shot My Brent's Diamond.

It was only the third defeat in 28 starts for Hallowed Dreams and her first in seven races at the Fair Grounds.

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Batique was the only winning favorite in the four stakes races run at Calder Race Course.

A 5-year-old mare owned by Helen Groves and trained by Michael Matz, the 2-1 choice rallied from off the pace to win the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap.

Batique completed the 11/8 miles on turf in 1:494/5 in beating 26-1 shot Please Sign In by a half-length.

Other stakes winners at Calder were: Ms Brookski ($9.40) in the $100,000 Three Ring, O'Rocky ($46.40) in the $100,000 What A Pleasure and Band Is Passing ($16) in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap.

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