Flaxman Holdings Ltd. and Edmund Gann's Denon made amends for two disappointing races earlier this year with a 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park. On the firm turf course, the Bobby Frankel-trained son of Pleasant Colony completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.47 under Garrett Gomez.
"I have no idea how I got the mount on this horse, but I'm sure grateful," Gomez said. "Bobby told me just to get this colt involved early. So I did, and he relaxed real well behind the leaders. They quickened real hard at the half-mile pole, and he jumped back in the bridle. He did everything perfectly. When I moved him out turning for home, he wore the other horse (Night Patrol) down and that one got away with some real soft fractions. Just the same, I had a dream trip down inside."
The win was the second graded stakes win on the card for Gomez, who earlier in the day rode Adoration to victory in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II).
Pacesetter Night Patrol finished second, a head-length in front of Frankel-trained Skipping. Sarafan came home a fast-closing fourth, followed by Continental Red, Startac, Ringaskiddy, Spinelessjellyfish, and Cagney.
Sent off as the 7-1 third choice in the nine-horse field, Denon returned $16.80, $11.40, and $4.80. Night Patrol paid $17.80 and $8. Skipping was worth $2.80 to show. The $1 exacta paid $109.50.
Denon's last victory came in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) while making his United States debut last November. Prior to that, he raced in France where he won two of six races, including the Prix de Fontainebleau (Fr-III). Denon earned $210,000 for Saturday's win, his fourth in 10 career starts. (Chart, Equibase