Heatseeker drew clear in the final furlong to win Saturday's $250,000 Californian at Hollywood Park by 5 1/4 lengths over Tiago, setting up a rematch in next month's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup and a potential rivalry leading to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Heatseeker, a 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Giant's Causeway, finished the 9 furlongs in 1:47.06, breaking his own record for the Hollywood Park all-weather surface.
Early in the Californian, Heetseeker and jockey Rafael Beharano dueled for the lead with Surf Cat, setting a soft pace. As Heatseeker surged to the lead at the top of the stretch, Tiago took over second but couldn't threaten the winner. Surf Cat finished third and Albertus Maximus completed the order of finish.
"I wanted to come from behind but nobody wanted to go to the lead," Bejarano said. "My horse broke really sharp and he got comfortable real fast. We were going really slow early and he was able to take advantage of the slow pace."
Winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said his immediate goal for Heatseeker is the Gold Cup.
In other weekend racing:
Deep Sky, after racing near the back of an 18-horse field, moved to the outside at the top of the stretch, overhauled the leaders and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Smile Jack. Black Shell finished third. Deep Sky finished the 2,400 meters in 2:26.7. The race is the second leg of the Japanese Triple Crown. The winner of the first leg, the April 20 Two Thousand Guineas, did not run in the Derby, staged at Tokyo Racecourse.
Smooth Air drew off in the stretch to win Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby by 4 lengths over Cherokee Artist, with the favorite, Z Fortune, checking in third. Smooth Air, a Florida-bred colt by Smooth Jazz, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:50.26 with Manoel Cruz aboard for trainer Bennie Stutts Jr.
Zenyatta remained undefeated in five starts by winning Saturday's $175,000 Milady Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths over Santa Teresita. With Mike Smith in the irons, Zenyatta recovered from traffic problems at the break, challenged the leaders on the turn and won easily in a hand ride. The 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry finished the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.17. "All I can say is just amazing," said Smith. "I'm telling you, I'm beside myself, I don't even know what to say. There's no word in my vocabulary to describe her." Her earlier victories included the El Encino at Santa Anita and the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.
Starry Pursuit stalked the pace early in Saturday's $75,000 Manhattan Beach Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, went to the lead entering the stretch and held on at the end to win by 3/4 length over Porto Marmay. Exquisite Timing finished third. Starry Pursuit, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Van Nistelrooy, ran the 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:08.71.
Big Booster rallied from last of four to win Sunday's $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap by 2 lengths over Jade's Revenge. Tissy Fit was third and the early leader, Victorian Prince, finished last. Big Booster, a 7-year-old, Kentucky-bred gelding by Accelerator, ran the 1 5/8 miles on the all-weather track in 2:44.48 with Rafael Bejarano up.
Raw Silk went quickly to the front in Saturday's $150,000 Sands Point Handicap for 3-year-old fillies, led all the way and went on to win by 4 1/4 lengths over Life Is Sweet. With Alan Garcia up for trainer Tom Albertrani, the Malibu filly finished the 9 furlongs in 1:48.46 after setting a moderate pace. "The first part, she galloped around and was so relaxed," Garcia said. "When we turned for home, I had a lot of horse left. She kept on running. She was very, very nice."
Cannonball rallied in the final strides to win Saturday's $75,000 Pebo's Guy Stakes for New York-breds by a nose over Redefined. Metro Meteor was third and the favorite, Southern Prince, faded from the lead to finish last of nine. Cannonball, a 3-year-old Catienus gelding, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:08.94 on "good" turf.
Indian Chant opened a clear lead at the top of the stretch in Saturday's $125,000 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap and then held on at the end to win by a head over Noonmark. The favorite, Elite Squadron, finished well back in third. Indian Chant, a 5-year-old, California-bred gelding by Suggest, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.4 under Jamie Theriot. Tom Amoss trains.
Acoma came three-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $100,000 Dogwood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and drew off to win by 1/2 length over the favorite, Keep the Peace. Secret Gypsy finished third. Acoma, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Empire Maker, ran the 1 mile on a fast track in 1:34.56 with Robby Albarado riding for trainer David Carroll.
Inca King led all the way to a 2 1/4-lengths victory over Seaside Retreat in Saturday's $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Corrupt finished third. Inca King, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Sir Cat gelding, finished in 1:42.39. Shaun Bridgmohan rode for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Not Bourbon stalked the pace in Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Plate Trial Stakes, surged to the lead at the top of the stretch and held off the late run of Solitare to win by a neck. Longshot Sebastian's Song was third and the heavy odds-on favorite, Harlem Rocker, winner of the Withers Stakes in New York in his last start, settled for fourth with no response when called on in the stretch. Not Bourbon, a son of Not Impossible from the Storm Boot mare Bourbon Belle, ran the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:49.73 under Jono Jones. Roger Attfield trains the colt. "Hopefully he can get that other eighth of a mile" in the Plate, Attfield said. "He's a dead fit horse." He said there is some question whether Not Bourbon's running style is conducive to the added distance. But, he said, "He's got a big heart and a tremendous amount of ability. So hopefully we're there in three weeks time and get our picture taken."
Callwood Dancer led all the way and held on at the end to upset Saturday's $300,000 (Canadian) Nassau Stakes for fillies and mares by a nose over Quiet Judge. The favorite, Sealy Hill, finished third, 1 1/4 lengths farther back. Callwood Dancer, a 4-year-old, Irish-bred daughter of Danehill Dancer, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.46 with Eurico Da Silva in the irons. Roger Attfield trains the filly for Harlequin Ranches.
Golden Gate Fields
Sudan led all the way to a 4-lengths victory in Saturday's $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf. Fitz Flag was second with Uffizi third. Sudan, a 5-year-old, Irish-bred son of Peintre Celebre, ran the 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:16.86. David Flores rode the winner for trainer Bobby Frankel.
Indy Joe battled for the lead in Saturday's $75,000 Rumson Stakes for 3-year-olds, got clear and won off by 1 length over Rough Road Ahead. The favorite, Go Go Shoot, was third, 4 lengths farther back. Indy Joe, a Florida-bred son of Indy King, ran the 6 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:09.47.
Saki to Me rallied four-wide into the stretch and went on to win Saturday's $65,000 Little Silver Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 1/2 length over the favorite, Forest Trail. Dagger was third. Saki to Me, a Kentucky-bred Fusaichi Pegasus filly, ran the 1 mile on the muddy main track in 1:38.72. Five fillies scratched when the race was moved off the grass.
Presque Isle Downs
Bucky's Prayer was all out at the wire to win Sunday's $100,000 Satin and Lace Stakes for fillies and mares by a neck over Dhanyata. Just for Keeps, the favorite, finished third. Bucky's Prayer, a 6-year-old, Michigan-bred daughter of Meadow Prayer, ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:03.22.
Ravallo dueled for the lead in Sunday's $100,000 Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern Pennsyvania Stakes, got clear and went on to win by 2 lengths over Pete's Wonder. Night Stand was third. Ravallo, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Mutakddim, ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:02.49.