Robert Bone's Desert Boom, a grade III winner in his last start, broke on top and never looked back in capturing the $138,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, the central attraction of Saturday's annual series of races for Thoroughbred racing's blue collar workers at Canterbury Park.
Trained by Art Sherman, Desert Boom, a 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Boomerang, was ridden to victory by Roberto Gonzalez. They cruised to a 2 3/4-length win over co-favorite Lord of the Game. The time for the 1 1/8-mile event for horses who have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less in the past year was 1:47 1/5 on a fast track.
It was six lengths back to third-place finisher Habaneros in the six-horse race.
Desert Boom was coming off a two-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields June 11. The dark bay has won five of six this year and six of eight since Sherman claimed him for $32,000 on Nov. 7.
Saturday's win was worth $82,500 and pushed his earnings over the $200,000 mark this year. He has earned $474,220 in his 33-race career, which includes 14 victories.
Desert Boom broke sharply from his inside post to open up an immediate lead while dictating an easy pace of :23 2/5, :46 4/5 and 1:10 1/5. Leading by two lengths on the turn, he withstood challenges from both Lord of the Game and Habaneros, but shook loose at the top of the stretch and held sway over the Lord of the Game, who had won seven of eight in his career coming into the race.
The winner paid $4.60, $2.40, and $2.20 as the very slight 13-10 choice over the runner-up, Lord of the Game, who returned $2.40 and $2.20. Habaneros was $2.40 to show.
Mr. Mabee, a lukewarm 3-1 favorite in an open field of 12 turf runners, bounded away in the stretch for a 5 1/4-length win in the $122,500 Claiming Crown Emerald on the firm lawn.
Derek Bell rode the 4-year-old son of Storm Cat
to victory for trainer Jimmy Zook and owner William Stiritz. Zook claimed Mr. Mabee, a $155,000 Keeneland yearling buy in 2002, for $17,500 out of a race at Hawthorne April 15. Mr. Mabee had just one start since the claim, winning a first-level allowance race on the Arlington turf June 5 by 3 1/2 lengths.
He defeated the late running Sigfreto in a time of 1:41 3/5 for the 1 1/16-mile distance. Rockhurst finished third.
The 7-year-old gelding Procreate went gate to wire to win the $93,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit by 1 1/2 lengths in a time that was two ticks off the Canterbury track record for 6 1/2 furlongs.
The Maryland-bred Mt. Livermore
gray/roan completed the distance in 1:14 2/5 under 124 pounds, including jockey Herberto Castillo. The Student ran second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of third-place Crafty Player. Rodeo's Castle, the 3-2 favorite in the field of seven, finished fourth.
Trained by John Zimmerman, Procreate improved to 12-6-6 in 47 lifetime starts while earning $55,000 for owners Thomas McClay and Harry Nye. Procreate has earned $266,619 in his career.
Michael Ziegler piloted the 10-1 shot Inhonorofjohnnie to a two-length victory in the $93,000 Claiming Crown Tiara for fillies and mares battling at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Breaking from the inside, Ziegler positioned the 4-year-old Double Honor filly along the rail, where she fought on the front end throughout. She had the lead after a half-mile and opened up by four lengths in the stretch. She held on in spite of drifting out a bit in the late stages.
She ran the race in 1:43 2/5, defeating O.K. Corral, who was one length in front of Secret Lies in the seven-horse line-up. Out of Pride, the 6-5 favorite, finished fifth.
The Florida-bred Inhonorofjohnnie picked up her fourth career win in 22 starts and her third victory this year for owner/trainer Owen McQuade. She earned $55,000 to push her career bankroll to $122,689.