Hombre Rapido Speeds to Victory in L.A. Times

In spite of fractions that were quicker than rapid, Hombre Rapido had plenty left to capture Saturday's $200,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park by a length over fast-closing Publication.

Hombre Rapido, leading every step of the way under jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., ran six furlongs in 1:08 2/5. John Sadler trains the 6-year-old gelded son of Falstaff. The Los Angles Times Handicap was previously known as the Los Angeles Handicap.

"I've had a lot of fast horses and he's one of the fastest," Sadler said.

Hombre Rapido cleared the field early and set off on blistering splits of :21 2/5, :43 2/5 and :56 3/5. By the time they were halfway down the stretch, it was clear the winner had run everyone into the ground except for Publication, who closed from the rear of the pack with a rush under David Flores. Giovannetti, who ran closest to Hombre Rapido, held third for jockey Patrick Valenzuela.

The 6-5 favored entry of Echo Eddie and Disturbingthepeace, faded after stalkign the pace into the stretch. Ten-year-old Men's Exclusive lacked a closing kick.

Hombre Rapido picked up $120,000 for breeder/owners Granja Vista Del Rio Stable with his first career graded stakes victory. He's won five of 20 career starts with earnings of $313,330.

Hombre Rapido paid $15, $8.80 and $5.60. Publication returned $8 and $6.40. Giovannetti showed for $7.80. The $2 exacta was $103.80.

(Chart, Equibase)