Royal Place, ridden by Gerry Olguin, surged to the lead in deep stretch Thursday to capture the $103,598 Lieutenant Governors' Handicap (Can-III) at Hastings Park by a neck, spoiling Lord Nelson's bid for his third straight win in the stakes race.Trained by Southern California-based Rafael Becerra for owner K.K. Sangara, Royal Place won for the first time this year in four starts. The Florida-bred son of Out of Place was timed in 1:49.08 for the 1 1/8-mile event.Pacestting Roscoe Pito settled for third, 4 1/4 lengths behind, while 11-10 choice Yougottawanna finished last of seven who completed the race. Mister Mane Man, 49-1, stumbled off Royal Place's heels soon after the start and dumped his rider.Roscoe Pito established fractions of :22 4/5, :46 3/5 and 1:11 1/5 before dropping back at the head of the stretch. Olguin was able to guide Royal Place to the inside at the top of the stretch and the 4-year-old bay was able to wear down Lord Nelson, who took over on the outside, in the closing stages.Meadowbrook Farms bred the winner, who is out of the Kris S. mare British Bauble. Royal Place picked up a winner's share of $60,000 to improve his overall bankroll to $302,650 with six wins from 23 lifetime starts.(Chart, Equibase)
Southern California shipper Celtic Dreamin successfully invaded Canada for his first graded stakes win in the CAN$263,780 British Columbia Breeders' Cup Derby (Can-III) Sept. 23 at Hastings Race Course.