Saturday, November 01, 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2008) — Favorite Pamona Ball, given a ground-saving trip by Rafael Bejarano, rallied along the rail in the stretch to score her second straight win in Saturday’s $107,700 Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Pamona Ball covered the 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in a stakes record 1:42.21 while finishing one length clear of Toro Bonito. Pacesetter Ten Churros — stablemate of the runner-up — tired in the stretch and finished another three-quarters of a length back in third.

Pamona Ball, owned by Darley Stable, paid $5.80, $3 and $2.40. Toro Bonito returned $3.40and $2.20, while the show payoff on Ten Churros was $2.40.

"I learned something about this filly last time,” said Bejarano, who rode two winners as he seeks to sweep the five major Southern California riding titles. “She was very good and very relaxed on the rail. Today she dragged me a little bit on the first turn, but after that she really relaxed and let me get inside of them. I saw the horse on the lead (Ten Churros) drift out, so I was comfortable going up inside. I had to take up a little on the turn, but she was still going well and didn't really lose position."

Pamona Ball, trained by Eoin Harty, finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in her first two starts.

“I was hoping she would have been ready for the Breeders’ Cup because I thought she had plenty of talent,” Harty said. “She was just unlucky at Del Mar the two times I ran her down there. I’ll talk to the big boys and see if they want to go into the Hollywood Starlet or whether they have other plans for her.”

Toro Bonito finished well after trailing through three-quarters, but was not a serious threat to the winner.

"She's not quick so I didn't rush her early,” jockey David Flores said. “I had a good trip but just got out-run. She's still learning, improving. This was only her second time going long."
Pamona Ball, a bay daughter of 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect, was purchased for $380,000 in March. Now two-for-four, she banked $67,700 to increase her earnings to $98,880.

While the feature event went according to form, there were several upsets Saturday, leading to a Pick Six carryover of $126,284 on Sunday

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