California-bred Disturbingthepeace made some more noise in the national sprint division, winning Saturday's $200,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (g. II) at Del Mar.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, the 4-year-old gelding by Bold Badgett recorded his fifth straight win and his second Grade II stakes victory in a row for trainer Darrell Vienna. He defeated pacesetting Freespool by 3/4-lengths in 1:09 1/5 for the six furlongs.
"I think I could have gone to the lead anytime, but I was happy to sit on the rail back off them," said Espinoza. "When we hit the turn I had to make a decision. I might have been able to stay inside, but sometimes you get in trouble when you do that. So I eased outside and went after the leader. My horse had a little trouble changing leads, but when I got after him left handed, he changed – and once he changed it was all over."
"I think he's just a developing horse and he's just starting to figure out things," said Vienna. "His whole attitude since his last race [victory in Hollywood Park's Triple Bend Handicap] has been that of a big horse. He's going to the track and he's spending more time and he's more composed and showing off. I don't know what gets into these horses but it happens a lot with them. It's not just us thinking about them differently, they start acting differently."
Disturbingthepeace earned a check for $90,000 with his sixth career victory. He has not been off the board in 14 career outings.
Kona Gold, the 124-pound highweight and winner of the past two runnings of the Crosby 'Cap, was withdrawn early in the day by trainer Bruce Headley. The 8-year-old gelding, the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter of 2000 after a victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, may run in the $150,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap at seven furlongs August 18, according to Headley.
Made the favorite after the scratch of Kona Gold, David and Rita Milch's Disturbingthepeace paid $6.60, $3.80, $3.00. Freespool returned $7.20 and $4.20. Mellow Fellow paid $3.40 for third. The $2 exacta was $63.60.
"I honestly don't believe we beat the real Kona Gold the last time (in the Triple Bend)," noted Vienna. "I think he's a sensational horse and any time he stays in the barn, I feel better. Bruce is a good friend of mine and I hope the horse is all right. He knows that horse so well and has done such a good job with him, I'm sure he's making the right decision."
Disturbingthepeace is not Breeders' Cup nominated, Vienna said, adding, "We can take care of that."