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Sadler sweeps undercard

Trainer wins three stakes races, including American Handicap with a 29-1 shot.

June 29, 2008|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

The only significant race trainer John Sadler did not win on Saturday at Hollywood Park was the main event, the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.

This was because he didn't have a starter in the Grade I. The way Sadler is going these days, everybody else would've been fighting for second money had he been represented.

The leading trainer in Inglewood increased his advantage in the standings while also fattening the stable's bankroll by winning the three other stakes offered.

None of the winners was favored. Emmy Darling, the 3-1 third choice, took advantage of a quick pace to win the $102,900 Landaluce, Whatsthescript pulled a 29-1 shocker, capturing the $250,000 American Handicap as the longest shot in the field of seven, and Dearest Trickski completed the unforgettable day with a wire-to-wire score at 6-1 in the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap.

Making his first appearance for Sadler and initial start since finishing last in the Sir Beaufort on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, Whatsthescript got the patient handling he needs from regular rider Isaias Enriquez and powered past pacesetter Storm Military to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

The victory was the fourth in seven U.S. races for the 4-year-old Royal Applause colt.

"I was expecting him to run well," said Sadler, who has 23 victories at the meet, putting him five in front of Doug O'Neill. "He worked a mile [1:36 4/5 on June 17] that was unbelievable. He came to me from [owner] Tommy Town [Thoroughbreds] in good shape and ready to go, and I just trained him up from there.

"To be honest with you, I don't think I've ever won three stakes races, but it feels good."

While Whatsthescript was rebounding, Daytona threw in a rare stinker. The 7-10 favorite finished sixth, only the second defeat in the last eight starts for the Irish-bred.

"He felt fine, just didn't fire today," said jockey Alex Solis of Daytona. "I was right where I wanted to be, but when we turned for home he just did not have any fight in him."

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The favorites did not fare well in the two Grade I races at Belmont Park.

Proud Spell, who was odds-on against three opponents in the $250,000 Mother Goose in her first start since she won the Kentucky Oaks on May 2 at Churchill Downs, was in trouble from beginning to end. She stumbled badly at the break to lose position, then had traffic woes in the stretch and ultimately was disqualified and placed third.

The winner was 8-5 second choice Music Note, a 3-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy who is now three for four.

A poor takeoff also hindered 6-5 favorite A.P. Arrow. He never threatened and finished sixth in the $400,000 Suburban, where the winner was 40-1 shot Frost Giant.

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bob.mieszerski@latimes.com

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