Sunset 'Cap Brings Down Hollywood Curtain

Sunset 'Cap Brings Down Hollywood Curtain
Photo: Benoit
Sunset favorite Runaway Dancer romped to victory in the Jim Murray at odds of 17-1 for jockey Garrett Gomez.
(from Hollywood Park report)
Runaway Dancer, who swept from last to win the May 14 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT), will attempt to repeat that dramatic effort in Sunday's $150,000 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT), closing day feature of Hollywood Park's 64-day spring/summer meet.

The 6-year-old roan gelding will carry high weight of 118 pounds, including leading rider Garrett Gomez, against seven other turf marathoners in the 1 1/2-mile event over the Lakeside Turf Course. Runaway Dancer will break from the inside post while spotting the others between two and eight pounds.

"He's been doing great since the Jim Murray," said Dan Hendricks, who trains Runaway Dancer for RL Stables. "He seems to be coming up to this race as good as the last one." Victory in the $350,000 Murray was accomplished over the same distance as the Sunset, but at odds of 17-1.

Runaway Dancer appears to have found renewed vigor following a nine-month vacation. He returned to run fourth behind Breeders' Cup Mile champion Singletary in the one-mile Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) on April 9 at Santa Anita. "Everything went right," Hendricks said of the Arcadia. "We got everything we wanted out of it. I knew that, if he had the ability, he would win his next start."

The Kentucky-bred son of Runaway Groom rallied from eighth and last to win the Murray. "He came back to his old form and did it the right way," observed Gomez. The victory lifted Runaway Dancer's earnings to $474,590 from a career record of 6-1-2 in 22 starts.

Continuously, trained by Bobby Frankel for Saud bin Khaled, was the odds-on favorite in last year's Sunset, but lost by a nose to Star Over the Bay. The 6-year-old bay will try to get righted after finishing off the board in his four subsequent races. Continuously has posted an overall record of 4-4-1 in 20 starts for earnings of $377,556.

T. H. Approval captured Santa Anita's San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IIT) at about 1 ¾ miles in April, but finished fifth behind Runaway Dancer in the Murray. Trained by Eduardo Inda for Tadahiro Hotehama, the 4-year-old gray has earned $317,840 from a mark of 4-2-4 in 18 career races.

$150,000 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT), 3 & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey Weight
1. Runaway Dancer, Garrett Gomez, 118
2. T.H. Approval, Rene Douglas, 116
3. R McLennen, Danny Sorenson, 110
4. Always First, Victor Espinoza, 113
5. Balustrade, Jon Court, 114
6. Hatif, Francisco Duran, 112
7. Continuously, Alex Solis, 114
8. One Off, Tyler Baze, 113

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