Bejarano, Maldonado Tie for Hollywood Title

Jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Edwin Maldonado shared the riding title in a spirited three-way battle with Joe Talamo as the curtain dropped on the final spring/summer meet July 14 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Both riders were atop the standings with 51 victories, the first draw at the spring/summer stand in 67 years. It was only the third tie in the history of the legendary track, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013.

Ralph Neves and Jack Westrope both won 56 races in 1946, while John Adams and Silvio Coucci each won 46 times during the inaugural meet in 1938.

Talamo, who began the final week of the 49-day meet with a four-win lead over Bejarano and a seven-victory cushion over Maldonado, finished third with 50 wins. Talamo had a meet-high 10 stakes successes.

Maldonado and Bejarano won twice on closing day Sunday. Maldonado took the second with Brandon's Princess and third with Unseen Visitor. Bejarano, the defending meet champion, won the fourth with Tribal Peace and seventh with Ethnic Dance.

The leading rider at Hollywood's 2012 autumn season, Maldonado had an opportunity in the final race to take the title by himself. His mount, 2-1 favorite Saint Leo, finished third.

Neither jockey was displeased with the outcome.

"A tie is OK for me, '' said Bejarano, who has five riding titles. "I'm happy.

"I wish in the 10th race, Talamo (who finished last on Love That Action) would have won so we could have had a three-way tie for the first time. If I couldn't win it all, I wish we could have all finished together.''

This sentiment was shared by Maldonado.

"I'm super happy right now,'' he said. "I was pushing for Talamo in the 10th because I would have loved to see a three-way tie. I'll settle for a tie since I was seven behind going into the last week, so it's just as good.''

John Sadler, who won twice the final day of the meet, earned his latest training title at Hollywood Park with 29 victories, five more than Mike Puype. Sadler also led the spring/summer meet in 2008 and autumn meet in 2007 and 2009.

Puype, who had three winners closing day, tied a record established by Allen Drumheller, Sr. (July 4-5, 1955) by winning six consecutive races in a span of three days (June 20-22).

Mike Mitchell and Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer tied for most stakes winners among trainers. Each finished with five. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert led in earnings with $1,745,981.
 

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