David Copperfield won his turf debut in stellar fashion Saturday at Hollywood Park, setting all the pace before drawing off to a four-length victory in the $107,600 Cinema Handicap (gr. IIIT). Over a firm turf course, David Copperfield completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.73 under Victor Espinoza.
Until the Preakness (gr. I), David Copperfield had been the only horse to defeat Fusaichi Pegasus. In their career debuts in December, David Copperfield finished a 6 1/2 furlong maiden race a neck in front of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner at Hollywood Park. Since then David Copperfield finished off the board in an allowance sprint, won a one-mile Santa Anita allowance race, and finished third in the $250,000 California Derby. Saturday's win brings his career mark to three win from five starts.
11-10 favorite Duke of Green finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Silver Axe. Heritage Hall was fourth, followed by Grey Memo and Sign of Fire.
David Copperfield returned $8.80, $3.80 and $3.00 for the win. The $1 exacta paid $9.90.
"John (Shirreffs, trainer of David Copperfield) told me he wanted me to put him in behind a horse, that the horse fights better when he's right off of another horse. But you never know how a race is going to go," said Espinoza of his wire-to-wire winner. "So that's what I planned to do, but he broke from the gate so easy, and I said to myself, 'I can't hold him back.' He was just nice and relaxed," he continued.
David Copperfield (Halo--Bannockburn, by Count Brook) earned $64,560 for 505 Farms. The 3-year-old was bred in Kentucky by Jack Mandato and bought by 505 Farms for $325,000 at last year's Barretts Equine Ltd.'s March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training. The Cinema winner is scheduled to be sold by Barretts on July 22 as part of the 505 Farms dispersal. (Chart, Equibase