Baffert, Garcia Cap Big Day With Irish Gypsy

Baffert, Garcia Cap Big Day With Irish Gypsy
Photo: Benoit Photography
Irish Gypsy wins the Desert Storm Handicap.
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Irish Gypsy capped a big card at Hollywood Park for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia on Father's Day when she captured the $76,050 Desert Stormer Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths as the favorite June 19 (VIDEO).

The one-length victory for the 5-year-old daughter of Hennessy and the Relaunch mare Rayelle was the third on Father’s Day program for Baffert and the fourth for Garcia.

With 17 days remaining in the spring/summer meet, Baffert holds a 24-23 advantage over Mike Mitchell in the trainer’s race. The quadruple for Garcia, who rode all three of Baffert’s winners, was the his second at Hollywood Park. His other four-win day locally was Nov. 7, 2006.

Owned by Mike Pegram and John G. Sikura, Irish Gypsy won for the fifth time in 12 starts and pushed her earnings to $239,420. She completed the six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:09.67.

The victory was the second in a row for Irish Gypsy, who was bred in Kentucky by Jerry and Ann Moss. She captured the Valid Expectations May 30 at Lone Star Park. The bay has not been worse than second since finishing fifth in an optional claimer Aug. 27, 2009, at Del Mar.

Never too far off the pace set by All the Love and Warren's Blossom, Irish Gypsy moved outside into the stretch, ultimately gaining the lead with about a sixteenth of a mile to run.

Irish Gypsy paid $4.60, $2.80, and $2.20. Warren’s Blossom, who had a clear lead with a furlong to go, saved the place by a half-length over Fund Raiser, the other Baffert entrant. Warren’s Blossom returned $4.60 and $3. The show payoff on Fund Raiser was $3.20.

Washington Bridge, the 3-1 second choice, was fourth and All the Love faded to last. U R All That I Am was scratched.

“She has been running really well and improving so much," said Garcia, whose other victories for Baffert were on 2-year-old first timer Night Tide in the second race and Toro Bonito in the third race. “I had a really good position outside where she could relax and not have any pressure. She was just galloping out there just waiting go. When I asked her to go she just took off."

One race before the Desert Stormer, Sway Away won in his return to California, edging 6-5 second choice Da Ruler in a $52,000 allowance.

Cutting back to seven furlongs after finishing 12th of 14 in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 21 at Pimlico Race Course, the 3-year-old son of Afleet Alex   and the Seattle Slew mare Seattle Shimmer won by a neck under Rafael Bejarano. The final time on Cushion Track was 1:21.74.

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