'Blues' Hits $1 Million Mark as Hollypark Opens

Georgia-bred gelding Bluesthestandard, purchased for a mere $4,200 as a weanling in 1997, surpassed the $1 million mark in career earnings with a three-length victory under jockey Kerwin John as Hollywood Park's 25th autumn meet opened Wednesday.

Bluesthestandard, prominent throughout the 1 1/16-mile event, pulled away from Me My Mine on the turn for home and cruised to victory in 1:42.67 on a wet-fast track. The 8-year-old earned $20,400 to boost his bankroll to $1,014,218 with his 17th win in his 44th start.

Bluesthestandard, who was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Bill Spawr on behalf of Debbie and Edward Brown Jr. at Del Mar in August, has raced for seven owners since winning his career debut and being claimed for $22,500 at Hollywood Park in 2001.

The son of American Standard enjoyed most his success after being claimed for $50,000 by trainer Ted West for Jeffrey Sengara on New Year's Eve, 2002. He won his next five starts, including the Potrero Grande Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Antia Park and the Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park. He ran second behind Cajun Beat in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita. The tandem eventually lost him for a claiming tag of $40,000 in March.

Bluesthestandard, a winner of six of 12 starts at Hollywood Park, was the 2-1 favorite in Wednesday's $40,000 claimer and rewarded backers with payoffs of $6.60, $4.40 and $2.80. Sanky Panky paid $8.20 and $4.20, while the show payoff on Me My Mine was $3.40.

Preachinatthebar, meanwhile, improved his record at Hollywood Park to four-for-six with a 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in the day's $56,000 allowance feature. The son of Silver Charm improved his lifetime record to six-for-19 and boosted his earnings to $395,753 with the winner's check of $33,600.

Preachinatthebar, the second winner on the card for owner Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert, covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.32 while paying $4.60, $2.80 and $2.20. Trotamondo returned $3 and $2.20, while Melanyhasthepapers paid $3.