Kinsale King Rules Underwood for New Trainer
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 12/6/2009 8:15:38 PM
Last Updated: 12/8/2009 3:10:02 PM

Kinsale King courageously held off Delta Storm by a neck in the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park.
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Photo: BenoitPhoto.com

Trainer Carl O'Callaghan earned his first stakes win when front-running Kinsale King courageously held off the veteran sprinter Delta Storm by a neck in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Hollywood Park Dec. 6.

Sent off at odds of 7-1, the 4-year-old Kinsale King was ridden to victory by Martin Garcia for owner Dr. Patrick Sheehy’s Super Horse. O'Callaghan, who turns 34 Dec. 7 and has been training for less than a year, called Super Horse "the backbone of my operation."
      
“I'll be 34 tomorrow,” said O'Callaghan, who has five wins at the meet. “I'm going to go home and cook a big fat steak and mashed potatoes then come back here and do it all again.”

Leaving from the rail, Kinsale King broke outward, bumping Machismo at the break while heading to the front with Delta Storm pressing on his outside in second. The 5-year-old Argentine Mr. Cacht, making his first U.S. start for trainer Jeff Mullins, raced in third. And that's the way they remained all the way around. Quarter-mile fractions for the opening four furlongs were an even :23.23 and :46.53.

Kinsale King took a slight advantage into the stretch and inched away a bit, but the 8-year-old second-choice Delta Storm, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, drew ever closer as they battled through the lane. Just as it appeared Delta Storm would finally overcome the leader in the final strides, Kinsale King found an answer with strong encouragement from Garcia to win gamely. It was 1 1/4 lengths back to Mr. Cacht and Felipe Valdez. The final time was 1:09.67 over the Cushion Track.

Noble Court, the 124-pound highweight and 2-1 favorite in the field of seven, rallied belatedly but lacked much closing punch and wound up fourth. He was followed by Paul's Hope, Machismo, and Talkin to Mom Roo. The latter was eased in the final furlong and removed from the track by horse ambulance after crossing the finish line.

Previously with trainer Eoin Harty, Kinsale King was turned over to O'Callaghan during the Del Mar meet this summer. In his only other prior start since, the Yankee Victor gelding scored by three lengths at odds of 61-1 at Oak Tree Oct. 30 in an optional claiming allowance race at six furlongs. He had been working in spectacular fashion at Hollywood since then, most recently blowing out three furlongs in a bullet :35 breeze Nov. 30.

“I was confident, very confident,” O’Callaghan said. “He trained so good going into the race. He's got a lot of heart, and that's what it's all about is heart. He's always had trouble with his feet -- he's had a lot of quarter crack problems. My blacksmith has been there every day with me, side by side, nursing him through the feet. We loved him last time, but he wasn't 60-1 today, was he?

The lightly-raced Kentucky bred ran his record to 3-0-1 in six starts. He more than doubled his earnings to $117,080 with the Underwood victory.

"The first time I rode him I found out he's a much better horse on the lead, so I was going to send him no matter what,” Garcia said. “I let him get comfortable on the lead. He has so much heart, he keeps going and going, he wasn't going to let anyone by. He's just a different horse when he's in front. Especially today, he ran with some really nice horses. I was surprised the way he won last time, but not today."

Marvin Little Jr. bred the dark bay, who is out of Flaming Mirage, by Woodman. Kinsale King sold for $67,000 at Barretts in May 2007.

Sent off as the fourth choice, Kinsale King paid $16.40, $7.80 and $5.80. A gallant effort in the stretch from 11-time winner Delta Storm resulted in second money for the Mike Mitchell trainee. He returned $3.80 and $2.80. Mr. Cacht was $6.40 to show in a solid U.S. debut.

Earlier on the card, Rummysecret War produced the highest priced winner at the meeting at $216.40. The Oscar Garcia-trained 4-year-old was ridden by Silvio Amador, who had his first Hollywood Park winner.
 



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