Peter Angelos' undefeated Greek Sun, ridden by Alex Solis, swept past 3-5 favorite Laura's Lucky Boy with a sixteenth of a mile to go on his way to a powerful two-length triumph in the $153,450 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Greek Sun, a son of Danzig making his first start since Dec. 29, ran his unbeaten string to three races, all on turf, for trainer Bobby Frankel. This was Greek Sun's first grades stakes race and showed he has recovered from surgery to remove bone chips from his knees.He was timed in 1:48 2/5 for the 1 1/8-mile turf test. "This was a real good start back for this colt after his surgery," Solis said. "He ran incredible, real strong. I had a really good position and he did the job."Irish-bred Whilly was third in his United States debut, a nose in front of Northern California shipper Kilgowan and 5 1/2 lengths behind the winner.Laura's Lucky Boy, an impressive four-length winner of the one-mile Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) May 22 on the Hollywood Park turf, was passed like he was standing still after opening up a three-length lead with less than a furlong left. Laura's Lucky Boy was after his fourth consecutive grass victory,Laura's Lucky Boy, who was ridden by Mike Smith, carried top weight of 122 pounds, two more than Greek Sun, who was the 5-2 second choice in the field of seven.Greek Sun stalked Laura's Lucky Boy and Unrivalled, the leaders who peeled off from the field after moderate splits of :24 1/5 and :47 3/5. They picked it from there, completing six furlongs in 1:11 2/5. Laura's Lucky Boy shook loose heading into the stretch, but could not hold off the winner. Greek Sun came out leaving the final turn and rallied through the stretch under urging from Solis.Smith said he was victimized by jockey Kent Desormeaux's tactics."(Laura's Lucky Boy) never really had a chance to get a breather somewhere," Smith said. "He was pressed from the backside on. I chose to try to let (Unrivalled) go, but when I took a hold, (Kent Desormeaux's) horse would back up, too. Either way, I was between a rock and a hard place. I got away with the first quarter in excellent fashion. But when you are in a long sustained run, even though you're not going that fast, it takes its toll at the end. I didn't have what I should have had in the stretch."Desormeaux was not sympathetic."We crawled around the first turn, and I had no intention of making a donation to Mike Smith. I told him when he pays my bills, I'll make a donation.""Another one of those cases of someone else riding somebody else's horse. I don't know what Desormeaux was doing (on Unrivalled), but that's horse racing I guess," said Jason Orman, who trains Laura's Lucky Boy. "Our horse tries to take back, then Kent takes back. Our horse goes, and he goes. He wasn't worried about his horse, he was just worried about ours. I don't know if it made any difference, but it certainly didn't help." Greek Sun picked up a winner's share of $97,470 for owner Angelos, who also owns the Baltimore Orioles baseball club. Greek Sun, who captured the Hill Rise at Santa Anita to close out his 2003 campaign, has won $169,320 in his brief career.E.K. Gaylord II and Cheyenne Stables LLC bred Greek Sun, who is out of the Trempolino mare Sunlit Silence, in Kentucky. He was a $425,000 Fasig-Tip sale in February 2003.The winner paid $7, $2.60 and $2.20. Laura's Lucky Boy returned $2.20 and $2.10. Whilly, ridden by Tyler Baze, was $2.80 to show.(Chart, Equibase)