Monday, November 10, 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2008) — Favorite High Heel Sneakers, given a ground-saving trip by jockey Victor Espinoza, moved off the rail with three furlongs to run and easily out-ran Brushed Gold through the stretch en route to a 2 ¾-length victory in Sunday’s $65,000 Hermosa Beach Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The 5-year-old bay mare — meeting easier competition after a seventh-place finish in the Grade I Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita Park, covered 1 ½ miles on the Lakeside Turf Course in 2:28.58 while paying $5.60, $3.40 and $2.60. Brushed Gold, ridden by Garrett Gomez, paid $5.40 and $3.40, while the show payoff on second-choice Caprice with Rafael Bejarano up was $2.60.

"I had a really good trip all the way around,” Espinoza said. “She broke nice and I put her right in behind the first two horses. Saved ground all the way. She's the kind of filly that you have to ride a bit early because she's such a big filly and one-paced. She's easy to ride if you know her. It took me a race or two to get to know her. The farther, the better for her."

High Heel Sneakers, a Great Britain-bred owned by Christopher Wright and trained by Ben Cecil, won for the third time in 20 starts. The winner’s share of $42,925 raised her earnings to $212, 137. The win was her first in four U.S. starts.

“This race set up the way we hoped,” Cecil said. “I didn’t think there would be a lot of pace, so we decided if there was no pace to sit fairly close. The problem with a filly like this is there aren’t too many races, so we’ll have to see where we go. Because we’re running out of options, she could run against the boys – maybe the Hollywood Turf Cup.”

Gomez had no complaints aboard the runner-up.

“She's one of those true stayers,” he said. “She doesn't quicken much but she just stays at it. We picked up the tempo when we got to the backside just to let her get a little more comfortable, but she just stayed at the same pace all the way around."

With a Pick Six carryover of $112,486 entering Sunday, an additional $630,918 was wagered. The payoff to three perfect tickets was $154,253.20.

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