Comma To The Top wins the Los Angeles Stakes.

Comma To The Top wins the Los Angeles Stakes.

Benoit Photography

Comma to the Top Soars in Los Angeles

Comma to the Top has registered back to back stakes wins sprinting at Hollywood.

Fans looking for drama in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) May 27 at Betfair Hollywood Park missed out as 3-5 favorite Comma to the Top seized control early and was never seriously challenged in the sprint.

Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Kevin Tsujihara's Comma to the Top quickly established a clear lead in the six-furlong sprint on Cushion track and extended that advantage to four lengths turning for home. The 5-year-old Bwana Charlie gelding and jockey Edwin Maldonado cruised home to easily defeat runner-up Centralinteligence by 1 1/4 lengths and four other rivals.

Maldonado noted that the scratch of Fast Bullet, who also boasts early speed, may have helped Comma to the Top.

"When we found out that (Fast Bullet) scratched, we almost knew we were going to win," Maldonado said. "We thought we had a good chance even if he stayed in because this horse likes to fight. I've seen him have competition before and come back on to win. He's just such an old pro."

The victory is Comma to the Top's second straight stakes win sprinting at Hollywood after taking the Cool Frenchy Stakes May 4 and his third stakes win this season as trainer Peter Miller successfully shipped him east to win the Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III) earlier this year at Aqueduct.

"Now that we're focusing on sprint races, we're kind of sharpening him up more than before," Miller said. "I believe we'll keep him sprinting the rest of the year and hopefully end up in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I, Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park)."

Highweighted at 121 pounds in the field of six handicap sprinters, Comma to the Top wasn't much bothered as he cruised through a quarter-mile in :22.37 and a half-mile in :44.78. He powered home through the stretch to complete the race in 1:09.11.

Comma to the Top returned $3.40 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Centralinteligence returned 4.60 to place and 3.20 to show while Camp Victory paid $2.60 to show. Comma to the Top has won nearly half his 30 starts with a record of 14-2-2 and earnings of $1,293,406.

Bred in Florida by Richard and Linda Thompson, Comma to the Top is out of the Stormy Atlantic  mare Maggie's Storm.