Ridden by David Flores from the rail, Street Boss dropped back behind a quick pace and turned in his usual strong closing kick to defeat In Summation, the defending Crosby champion, by one length. The excellent winning time of 1:08.67 for the six-furlong distance came on a much quicker Polytrack racing surface. In Summation won this race over a tiring strip in 2007 in 1:11.06.
After the impressive effort by the 4-year-old Street Cry colt, who has now won five races in a row, there is no doubt that trainer Bruce Headley has Southern California's top sprinter. Headley picked up his fourth Crosby victory, following wins by Son of a Pistol (1998) and champion Kona Gold (2000-01).
Headley said afterward that he plans to give Street Boss a freshening and bring him back for the Ancient Title (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27, followed by the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) over the same surface Oct. 25.
Barbecue Eddie, as expected, took the lead shortly after the break and set a quick pace for Aaron Gryder in the Crosby (:22.21 for the opening quarter and :44.62 for the half-mile). But the speedy gelding could not shake loose of three challengers to his outside -- Winsome Charm, Sailors Sunset and Johnny Eves. Those four had things to themselves into the home stretch before Spot the Diplomat got the lead briefly while rallying on the outside. In Summation, who was trapped in the second flight from the top of the lane on the inside with Corey Nakatani, was blocked until deep stretch.
Flores, meanwhile, had a firm hold on Street Boss, who trailed while saving ground comfortably into the turn. The rider said afterward that he was looking for room between horses but, seeing none, floated the chestnut to the outside circling the bend. Street Boss was seven wide coming into the stretch, and though he drifted in through the stretch run, he remained clear of traffic to gain command at the sixteenth pole. In Summation finally squeezed through along the inside at that point, but by then it was way too late to catch Street Boss. Jungle Prince, with Joel Rosario aboard, picked up the show spot from off the pace, with Sailors Sunset fourth.
"I just wanted to stay there (at the rail) until I moved out," Flores told TVG. "I had the best horse and I just wanted to move at the right time. Then I just let him go."
The veteran Flores said Street Boss has the best closing kick he's experienced.
"If he's not the fastest, I don't know who is," he said.
Street Boss came into the Crosby after winning the seven-furlong Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track July 5 in another powerful finish. He won the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood prior to that. The Crosby triumph was his seventh in 11 starts and pushed his earnings to $581,800 for the partnership of Headley, Marsha Naify and Simon Yu. Street Boss is two-for-two at Del Mar, breaking his maiden at the seaside track in his racing debut Sept. 2.
Brilliant Stable bred the winner in Kentucky. He is out of the Ogygian mare Blushing Ogygian and sold for $300,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2005.
Street Boss shared high weight of 121 pounds with In Summation and paid $6.40, $3.60 and $3 for the win. In Summation, an unlucky runner-up for trainer Christophe Clement, returned $4.40 and $3.80 while making his first start in three months. The $2 exacta was worth $23. The 16-1 shot Jungle Prince, trained by Victor Garcia, was $8.20 to show while finishing two lengths behind.
Sailors Sunset was followed by Spot the Diplomat, Silver Stetson Man, Johnny Eves, Barbecue Eddy and Winsome Charm.