The 8-1 outsider Red Arrow controlled the pace with jockey Joe Talamo and refused to give way in the stretch to win his first graded stakes in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Hollywood Park May 16.
The Australian-bred Red Arrow clocked a solid time of 1:08.92 while posting a three-quarters of a length win over Paul's Hope. Another Australian-bred, Dehere Again, finished third in his United States debut.
Red Arrow broke well along the inside and took the lead from Dehere Again shortly after the start, leading the evenly-matched eight-horse field through an opening quarter mile of :21.94. His rivals appeared content to let him establish the lead as Talamo slowed things down into the turn. But Red Arrow opened a two-length lead in upper stretch and had Paul's Hope's measure in the final furlong.
Trained by John Sadler for the brothers Gary and Cecil Barber, Red Arrow won for the third time in five U.S. starts. This was his first added-money score.
Paul's Hope, ridden by Joel Rosario, took a wide path into the lane to get into contention but could not reach even terms with the winner while gaining the place spot by 1 1/2 lengths over Dehere Again and Aaron Gryder.
Red Arrow, a 6-year-old son of Red Ransom, also used front-running tactics in his most recent start, the Golden Gate Sprint in Northern California March 21. But he failed to last when engaged on the lead and struggled home fourth of five at even money, 5 1/2 lengths behind L.A. Handicap foe Siren Lure.
“My horse ended up on the lead on his own and he was just cruising,” said Talamo. “I was watching the replay of this horse last time at Golden Gate Fields and it looked like he went head-and-head early and really wasn't comfortable. Today John said to ride him with confidence. “
The bay horse's fourth win in 15 lifetime starts was worth $60,000, increasing his career bankroll to $175,482. Red Arrow began his career in Australia, where he won once in 10 tries.
“We thought that he would run really well and that this race was coming up right,” said Sadler, who sent out a pair of winners May 16. “Sometimes horses don’t ship that well so it was a little disappointing that he got caught up in a speed duel up there (at Golden Gate). We bounced back with a good race here today.”
Siren Lure, who needed to finish third or better in order to go over the $1-million mark in career earnings, finished fourth, a head behind Dehere Again and a head in front of Guns On the Table. Favored Doppio finished sixth.
The winner carried 114 pounds and paid $18.80, $9, and $6 as the longest shot in the field. Paul's Hope, a close second in the Potrero Grande Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita in his last start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, returned $9.80 and $6.20. The $2 exacta was worth $151.40. The 4-year-old Dehere Again, who started just four times in Australia while winning twice, was $5.60 to show in his American bow for trainer Mike Mitchell.
Red Arrow is out of the Last Tycoon mare Lady Jakeo.