|NATIVE DIVER H.|
3rd at 6NATIVE DIVER H.
(gr. III , 9f , to Mast Track, High Court Drama (IRE), defeating Tres Borrachos, Square Eddie ).
Mast Track not only won the Dec. 12 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park but also ended a nine-race losing streak that started after he had won the TVG/Betfair Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) in the summer of 2008.
Mast Track, who set the pace in the 11Ú8-mile Native Diver under Rafael Bejarano, scored by 11Ú2 lengths over High Court Drama, with 2-1 favorite Neko Bay finishing third.
Mast Track experienced some bright spots during his losing streak. In his first start after the Hollywood Gold Cup, the 5-year-old son of Mizzen Mast finished third, beaten 21Ú2 lengths, in the Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar. This year he was beaten a nose in a runner-up effort in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
The Native Diver was supposed to mark the return to racing of multiple grade I winner and $5.2-million earner Lava Man. The 8-year-old gelding, who has not raced since the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar in July 2008 because of chronic ankle problems, was scratched because of rain.
The Native Diver was Mast TrackÕs first race for Frank StronachÕs Stronach Stables and trainer Humberto Ascanio. Mast Track formerly raced for his breeder, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who died Nov. 16. Ascanio was one of FrankelÕs longtime assistants.
Frankel, who had been in ill health for most of the year, had sold Mast TrackÕs dam, Nawal, and the mareÕs two youngest offspring through Mill Ridge Sales, agent, shortly before his death.
Nawal and her weanling colt by Mizzen Mast were sold at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Nawal was purchased for $77,000 by Bowden Global Bloodstock. She was bred to Ghostzapper earlier this year but was not in foal. Frankel trained 2004 Horse of the Year and champion older male Ghostzapper for Stronach Stables. NawalÕs weanling was bought for $95,000 by Jim and Susan Hill.
NawalÕs yearling colt by Aldebaran was sold at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale. The youngster was purchased for $40,000 by trainer Dale Romans, agent.
Mizzen Mast, a grade I winner who was trained by Frankel for Khalid AbdullahÕs Juddmonte Farms, has sired 16 stakes winners. Mizzen MastÕs 11 added-money winners of 2009 also include Midships (gr. IT). Mizzen Mast stands at Juddmonte near Lexington. His 2010 fee is $15,000.ÑD.S.
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