Kona Gold (center) successfully defended his Bing Crosby title.

Kona Gold (center) successfully defended his Bing Crosby title.

Kona Gold Earns Seventh Straight Win with Bing Crosby Repeat

Champion sprinter Kona Gold scored his second consecutive Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Del Mar, defeating Caller One by three-quarter lengths in the $196,000 race. The 126-pound highweight in the four-horse field, Kona Gold completed the six furlongs in 1:08.22 on a fast track.

The win extends Kona Gold's current winning streak to seven races. His winning time Sunday bettered by .28 seconds his time in winning the 2000 renewal of the Bing Crosby under 123 pounds.

Caller One sprinted to a five-length lead after running the opening quarter-mile in :22.02, with Kona Gold second to the inside of Swept Overboard. The field edged into Caller One's advantage in the following quarter-mile run in :44.27. Entering the stretch, Caller One moved closer to the rail and jockey Alex Solis steered Kona Gold off the fence for the stretch drive. Kona Gold inched closer with Swept Overboard still shadowing him from the outside. In mid-stretch, it appeared Caller One would have enough to hold on, but the 4-year-old tired late and Kona Gold prevailed. Caller One finished second, a half-length in front of Swept Overboard. Hollycombe trailed the field home.

Kona Gold earned $120,000 for the win, his 13th in 21 starts. Trained by Bruce Headley, who co-owns the gelding with Irwin and Andrew Molasky and G. Michael Singh, 7-year-old Kona Gold (Java Gold--Double Sunrise, by Slew o' Gold) was bred in Kentucky by Carlos Perez. The Bing Crosby marks his eighth career graded stakes win.

The 9-10 favorite, Kona Gold returned $3.80 and $2.20. Caller One paid $2.40 to place. There was no show wagering due to the short field. The $1 exacta paid $3.20. (Chart, Equibase)