Veteran rider Eddie Delahoussaye booted home Affluent 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Collect Call to win Saturday's $150,000 Hollywood Oaks Stakes (gr. II) and earn his second stakes win on the Hollywood Park card. Earlier in the day, Delahoussaye guided Fair Apache to a head-length win over Global in the $71,625 Valkyr Handicap on the Hollywood Park turf course.
Affluent, Janis R. Whitham's 3-year-old homebred filly, raced in last place in the field of five after an opening half-mile run in :46.37 by Secret of Mecca. Collect Call was just a head back of the pacesetter at that point, and quickly assumed the lead. Affluent ranged up to be third after six furlongs, 1 1/2 lengths behind Collect Call. Collect Call led into the stretch, but Affluent edged her way to a half-length lead at the stretch call and increased her advantage to the wire, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.20 on a fast track.
"She relaxed good today," said Delahoussaye. "The other day when I rode her, she showed speed, and I was shocked. She had never been on the lead before in her life. Once she found herself on the lead, what are you going to do? All you can do is play it the way it comes. She still didn't run a bad race because the fillies that beat her are nice fillies. But she runs better this way, and the race set up perfectly for her. When I split horses at the about the three-eighths pole, Alex was riding, and I was just sitting. I was thinking, well, 'it feels like I've got a lot of horse. I hope when I call on her, she'll give it to me,' and she did."
Second-place Collect Call finished 12 lengths ahead of Secret of Mecca, with a gap of 4 1/2 lengths back to fourth-place Katy Kat. Bartley came home last of five, seven lengths behind Katy Kat.
The even-money favorite, Affluent returned $4, $2.20, and $2.10. Collect Call paid $2.40 and $2.10. Secret of Mecca was worth $2.20 to show. The $1 exacta paid $3.
The win marks the first stakes victory for Affluent, who finished third to Starrer in the Princess Stakes (gr. II) in her most recent race prior to the Oaks. The Ron McAnally-trained daughter of Affirmed--Trinity Place, by Strawberry Road, earned $90,000 for the win, her third in eight career starts. The win marks the fifth stakes placing for Affluent, who also finished second in the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II), and third in both the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I). (Chart, Equibase