Alex Solis guided favored Cheiron through a slight opening between horses in mid-stretch to win the $250,000 Snow Chief for 3-year-old California breds, the featured event in Saturday's 10-race, $1.3 million California Gold Rush at Hollywood Park.
Cheiron waited for room as Score High, Southern Outlaw and Don'tsellmeshort dueled down the stretch and finally made his move under Solis, squirting through to win going away as the slight favorite in the field of eight.
"It was a tiny little hole," Solis said, "but I knew we had to go through there to win the race. But he was very brave and he went between those two ((Southern Outlaw and Don'tsellmeshort) like the good horse he is.
"It's very special to win this race named for my very favorite horse, Snow Chief," he added.
Cheiron is nominated to the Triple Crown.
Don'tsellmeshort nosed Southern Outlaw for second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Cheiron. The final time, 1:48 3/5 for the 1 1/8-mile Snow Chief, broke the stakes record of 1:49.
The runner-up led into the stretch after setting a pace of :23, :46, 1:10 and 1:35 3/5.
Cheiron, a gray colt by Maria's Mon
, owned in partnership by Noctis LLC, Neil Papiano and Steve Taub and trained by Kristin Mulhall, won his first stakes race. He was fourth in his last start, the San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita on March 14.
Her won for the third time in nine starts while earning $150,000, nearly doubling his career winnings to $305,880.
The Thoroughbred Corp. bred Cheiron, who is from the Wild Again
The winner paid $5.60, $3.80 and $3.20. Don'tsellmeshort returned $5.60 and $4.80. Southern Outlaw was $7.40 to show. The $2exacta was worth $32.60.
Cee Mister B, who vied for favoritism with Cheiron, was not a factor, finishing seventh at odds of 9-5.