Florida-bred Crowned Dancer led throughout under Alex Solis to win the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) at Hollywood Park on Saturday, upstaging the Bob Baffert-trained Kafwain, the even-money favorite in the six-furlong event for 2-year-olds.
Crowned Dancer set fractions of :22.59, :45.22, and :57.69 en route to his final clocking of 1:11.10 on a fast track. Outta Here was up for second, two lengths behind the winner and a length ahead of Chief Planner, a second Baffert-trained entrant in the race. Kafwain finished fourth after breaking slowly, then racing wide around the turn and into the stretch. The winner paid $7.80.
Owned by C.R. Cono and Eastern Sky Unlimited Trust and trained by Christopher Paasch, Crowned Dancer was winning for the second time in four career starts. He broke his maiden in the W.L. Proctor Memorial at Hollywood May 26, then finished third in the Haggin Stakes in June. The son of the Forty Niner stallion Tactical Advantage out of Caveat Apt, by Chief's Crown, was bred in Florida by Val Hunter and Bill Hunter, and first sold as a yearling at the OBS August sale. Ricky Leppala bought the colt for $16,000, then sold him for $225,000 to Paasch, as agent, at the OBS March sale earlier this year.
"This is one hell of a horse," Paasch said after the Hollywood Juvenile Championship.