Multiple grade I winner Richard's Kid was victorious in his first start in the United States in more than 20 months, romping by 7 1/4 lengths at Betfair Hollywood Park in the $71,650 Prove It Stakes on the night of June 8 (VIDEO) .
With Rafael Bejarano at the controls, Richard's Kid was sent off as the 4-5 choice in a field of five. He completed the unusual 1 3/8-mile distance in a Cushion Track record 2:16.43. Richard's Kid was prepping for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 7.
Owned by Zabeel Racing Internatonal, the racing operation of Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum, Richard's Kid raced in the United Arab Emirates in 2011 and earlier this year without success. The 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid and the Broad Brush mare Tough Broad was returned to trainer Bob Baffert following a fourth-place finish in the Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-II) during the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse March 31.
For Baffert previously, Richard's Kid won back-to-back renewals of the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar in 2009-10 as well as the 2010 Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. In Dubai, he was winless in five tries beginning in March 2011. Arnold Zetcher sold the dark bay/brown horse to Zabeel.
Richard's Kid, who was training forwardly at Santa Anita for his return, had won five of his 12 races for Baffert.
Stalking pacesetter Northern Indy for a half-mile, Richard's Kid took the lead leaving the first turn and gradually increased his advantage coming into the homestretch. He took off through the lane to lead by 2 1/2 lengths at mid-stretch and poured it on late under a steady hand ride.
Richard's Kid, bred in Maryland by Fitzhugh, won for the 10th time in a 33-race career with total earnings of $1,826,385. He paid $3.60.