Mister Acpen Defeats Sarafan, Chiselling

(from Hollywood Park report)
Mister Acpen went wire-to-wire against several Grade I and Group I winners to win Wednesday's Hollywood Park feature, a $62,000 allowance for 4-year-olds and up over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

A 5-year-old Chilean-bred running for the second time in the United States, Mister Acpen sprinted nearly four lengths ahead of the competition in the early going and yielded no ground to the seven-horse field down the homestretch, running hard under the urging of Victor Espinoza to finish 2 ½ lengths in front of Gigli.

Mister Acpen was timed in 1:47 3/5 and paid $16.20, $8.40 and $3.40. Gigli, a Group I winning Brazilian-bred ridden by Gary Stevens in his U.S. debut for trainer Richard Mandella, paid $4.80 and $3. Sarafan, the winner of last summer's Eddie Read (gr. IT) at Del Mar, finished another half-length back in his first race since the Hong Kong Cup Dec. 15. The 6-year-old gelding, with more than $2.2 million in career earnings, paid $2.40 to show while ridden by Corey Nakatani.

Juddmonte Farm's Chiselling, who captured the Secretariat (gr. IT) at Arlington in August, was fifth in his first start since Sept. 22.

It was the fifth win in 15 lifetime starts for Mister Acpen, who has been trained by Kristin Mulhall for owners Noctis Stable and Papiano & Taub since coming to the U.S. He was fourth in his American debut, the Makers Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in April. He earned $37,200 for the victory, pushing his career earnings to $136,254.

Along with two other wins on Wednesday, Espinoza increased his meet-leading victory total to 26, ten wins ahead of his nearest competition.

(Chart, Equibase)