Tale of a Champion wins Whittingham Handicap
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) - Tale of a Champion beat favored All Squared Away by a length to win the $200,250 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday for the biggest victory of his career.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Tale of a Champion ran 1 1/4 miles on the turf in 2:01.27 and paid $22.40, $7.20 and $5 at 10-1 odds. He had been no better than fifth in five previous stakes races.
"I think we've misplaced this horse before and he hasn't had the best trips,'' said trainer Kristin Mulhall, who earned her first graded stakes win at the track since 2003. "He feels like he wants to run two miles when he's galloping. I told the owner about five races ago I'd like to see him go a mile and a half.''
All Squared Away returned $3 and $2.80 as the 13-10 favorite. He flipped during the post parade, but quickly recovered and trainer Peter Miller said the 4-year-old gelding was spooked by the stable pony.
Lucky Primo, making his first start since Oct. 13 at Santa Anita, was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $4.60 to show. Lucky Primo lost for the first time in four starts on the track's turf course.
Talamo won his sixth stakes race of the spring-summer meet.
"We really had a great trip,'' he said. "He really impressed me when he won last time. The race set up perfectly for him. My horse felt (All Squared Away) at the eighth pole and kept digging in.''
Tale of a Champion has six wins in 14 career starts and earnings of $269,708.
In the $150,750 Honeymoon Handicap, 8-1 shot Sarach led all the way to win by a length in her first start in more than two months.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Sarach ran 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:48.73 and paid $18, $5.80 and $3.60 for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.
Scarlet Strike returned $2.60 and $2.20 as the 4-5 favorite, while Macha was another half-length back in third and paid $4 to show. Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer trains both.
Sarach has three wins in eight career starts and earnings of $168,742.
In the $73,600 Manhattan Beach Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, 15-1 shot Kinz Funky Monkey won by a half-length, running six furlongs on the turf in 1:09.44. She paid $33.20, $12 and $7 as the second-longest shot in the field of seven.
Kinz Funky Monkey was ridden by Victor Espinoza. She had been idle since winning at Del Mar on Sept. 1. She has two career wins and earnings of $108,110.
Judy in Disguise returned $3.80 and $2.40, while Upbeat Mood was another half-length back in third and paid $3.80 to show.