Osidy, foreground, overtakes Willow O Wisp, right, to win the Will Rogers Stakes, Saturday at Hollywood Park.

Osidy, foreground, overtakes Willow O Wisp, right, to win the Will Rogers Stakes, Saturday at Hollywood Park.


Osidy's Late Surge Lands Will Rogers Stakes

Osidy, a colt that trainer Richard Mandella has big plans for this year, registered his first victory in the United States with a patient ride by Alex Solis in the $109,100 Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.

Owned by his breeder, B. Wayne Hughes, Osidy was group stakes-placed in France in September and put in a rousing run in his U.S. debut on opening night at Hollywood Park April 22, overcoming a bad start to finish a hard-charging second behind Juliesugardaddy.

Juliesugardaddy was scratched from the Will Rogers Saturday. Osidy, making another late surge, got up in the final couple of jumps to beat 18-1 outsider Willow O Wisp by a head. The time was 1:34 3/5 on a firm turf.

"Very nice, good progress," trainer Richard Mandella said. "He made a big run the other day, so I didn't see why he wouldn't do it again. He's still got a lot of learning to do. He doesn't have a world of experience, this was his first time around two turns."

Osidy was on the sidelines for more than seven months with a severe hoof injury before making his American debut, said Mandella, who brought the son of Storm Cat-Que Belle (Seattle Dancer) along slowly with an eye to the lucrative summer and fall turf schedule.

The highly favored Osidy, at odds of 7-5, made a three-wide move on the outside of his seven rivals coming off the final turn and got up under steady urging from Solis just in time over the stalking Will O Wisp, who had first run on the winner under Garrett Gomez and gained a brief lead close to home, just failed to last.

"He's kind of a stubborn little horse, but today the last eighth of a mile, he got right into the bit and started running," Solis said. "I thought then that I had a good chance to get there. Even though he had never won routing, I had no concern whatsoever about the distance."

It was the third win on the card for Solis, all in 'come-from-behind' fashion.

Eastern Sand, a little unlucky in the stretch for Rene Douglas when he lacked room between horses, nipped Moth Ball and Victor Espinoza for third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the first two.

Stakes-winning Texcess, making his turf debut while breaking from the rail, set a moderate early pace (:23 2/5, :46 3/5, 1:10) for David Flores while pressured by Moth Ball, Eastern Sand, and Willow O Wisp before fading in the stretch.

The Kentucky-bred Osidy ran third in the Prix la Rochette (Fr-III) at Longchamp in September in his next-to-last start in France. He's now won three of seven in his brief career with earnings of $133,256.

He paid $4.80, $3.40, and $2.80. Willow O Wisp returned $11 and $5.80 while completing a generous $79.40 exacta. Eastern Sand, the second choice in the field of eight who was sporting four consecutive runner-up finishes, was $2.60 to show.

After Moth Ball came Texcess, Sunny Sky, Talking to John, and Claymont.

(Chart, Equibase)