Cornejo Racing Inc.'s consistent King Robyn was not about to get caught in Friday's $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT), rolling to his fourth straight stakes victory in gate-to-wire fashion under a strong hand ride.
King Robyn, the 9-10 favorite carrying top weight of 120 pounds in the nine-horse field, was ridden to victory by Tyler Baze by a half length over the fast-closing Geronimo and Patrick Valenzuela. The final time for the 5 1/2-furlong grass test was 1:02.
Trained by Jeff Mullins, the Florida-bred 3-year-old Robyn Dancer gelding won for the eighth time in 11 starts in 2003 with earnings of more than $400,000. He's now 5-1-0 in six career starts on the sod and is perfect in three outings on the Hollywood Park turf.
The bay broke on top but never got a breather as Golden Arrow put the pressure on from the outside while King Robyn completed the opening quarter-mile in :22 2/5 and the half in :44 1/5. In deep stretch, King Robyn appeared somewhat tired while coming off the rail a bit and Valenzuela brought Geronimo along the inside to make it close in the final 100 yards.
Geronimo was in striking distance throughout while chasing the leaders between horses, finding room on the inside late. Golden Arrow, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, held on for third, 1 /2 lengths behind the winner and a length ahead of Needwood Blade, who closed from last in the stretch.
The victory, worth $90,000, pushed King Robyn's bankroll to $493,710 with 11 career wins in 19 starts. King Robyn was coming off of a head win in the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Oct. 24, his only previous graded stakes win.
Farnsworth Farms in Florida bred the winner, who was purchased privately.
King Robyn paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.40. Geronimo returned $4.40 and $3.20. The show on Golden Arrow was $3.20. The $2 exacta was worth $17.20.