Private Chef Sizzles in Will Rogers Stretch

Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss' Private Chef, making his second career start, came storming from behind to register a narrow victory over pacesetting Banshee King in Sunday's $112,600 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park.

Meet-leading rider Victor Espinoza won his third race of the day with the bay gelding by Partner's Hero.

Private Chef, who was supplemented to the race, completed the one mile on the turf in 1:35.57. He defeated Banshee King, ridden by Tyler Baze, by three-quarters of length. Singletary, the 2-5 favorite in the six-horse field, was third, 1 1/4 length behind the runner-up.

John Shirreffs trains Private Chef, who broke his maiden going six furlongs at Santa Anita on Feb. 16.

"John told me just to relax and make one strong run," said Espinoza. "I wasn't worried (about getting home first). I had a good pace in front of me and a lot of horse. By the time I asked my horse, he just blew them away."

Banshee King burst out of the gate and quickly established a clear lead over Singletary while setting fractions of :24 1/5, :48 2/5 and 1:12 1/5. Singletary, ridden by Patrick Valenzuela appeared ready to pounce on the leader as they hit the stretch, but was unable to muster enough of a rally to get the lead.

Private Chef, who trailed the field most of the way, made a three-wide move on the turn for home to get into contention and powered down the middle of the track, going by Singletary and gradually wearing down stubborn Banshee King with much urging from Espinoza.

The victory was worth $67,560 and brought Private Chef's career bankroll to $86,760.

Bred in Maryland by Candyland Farm, Private Chef was purchased for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale.

The 6-1 second choice paid $14, $7 and $2.10. Banshee King returned $7 and $2.10. Singletary's show was $2.10. The $2 exacta was worth $89.60.

(Chart, Equibase)