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HORSE RACING

Calkins Road Proves to Be Smooth Ride

April 29, 2002|BOB MIESZERSKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Although none of the participants Sunday reminded anyone of the horse the race was named for, the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes, the richest event on Hollywood Park's third Gold Rush Day, was at least exciting.

Calkins Road, the 4-1 third choice whose only victory had come in a maiden race Feb. 7, wore down a weary Menacing Dennis, the 7-2 second choice, to give trainer John Shirreffs his second Snow Chief victory in four years.

Ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., Calkins Road, who won by a head, completed the 11/8 miles in 1:51, the slowest time for the race since it was lengthened to nine furlongs in 1999. The final eighth of a mile took nearly 14 seconds to negotiate.

"He's a trier and he is getting better all the time," Pincay said. "In his last race, he had some trouble in the stretch. He is a nice colt. I think he has a good future."

During the 10-race program restricted to California-breds, Pincay was one of three jockeys to have more than one stakes victory. The world's winningest rider scored a $65.40 shocker aboard Ladylore, a $32,000 claim by trainer Bill Spawr for owner Tom Wafer on March 16, in the $200,000 Melair Stakes.

The longest shot in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, Ladylore won by 11/2 lengths over 7-5 favorite Super High in 1:444/5 for the 11/16 miles.

Eddie Delahoussaye also had two victories, taking the $100,000 Quicken Tree Stakes with favored Adminniestrator and the $175,000 Khaled Stakes with the ageless Native Desert.

In beating stubborn pacesetter Hugh Hefner by a head in 1:414/5 for the 11/16 miles on turf, Native Desert became only the second 9-year-old to win a stakes at Hollywood Park. The other was John Henry, who captured the 1984 Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap.

It was the 20th career victory for Native Desert, who has earned $1,705,586.

Victor Espinoza, Hollywood Park's leading rider after the first five days, had three winners, taking the $60,000 Pepper Oaks Farms Stakes with favored Public Domain, the $150,000 B. Thoughtful with Favorite Funtime and the $175,000 Fran's Valentine with Smokin' Charlotte.

Favorite Funtime had sentiment on her side in her 11/2-length victory over 14-1 shot Song Of Summer in the seven-furlong B. Thoughtful.

The 5-year-old Seeking The Gold mare is owned and was bred by John and Betty Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm.

John Mabee died Wednesday night, 10 days after suffering his third stroke in two years.

*

The other Gold Rush winners were Theresa's Year, who took the $70,000 Lakeview Thoroughbred Farms; Affairintheforest, who posted a $50.40 surprise in the $70,000 Big Jag and Bear Fan, a 10-1 shot who made a successful debut in the $60,000 Gourmet Girl.

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