Fog City Stable's 6-5 favorite Blueprint outdueled Kudos in the stretch to win the $200,000 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday at Hollywood Park. Kudos, the second wagering choice, survived a photo for second over third favorite Northern Quest as the five-horse field finished in the exact order of favoritism. 7-1 Loving finished fourth, with 29-1 longshot The Editor trailing the field home after setting the early pace.
Blueprint tracked The Editor and Kudos in the early going as those two rivals alternated leadership through fractions of :24.68, :48.53, and 1:13.54. Blueprint moved into contention under Gary Stevens as The Editor began to tire. Kudos held a short lead over Blueprint as those two raced into the stretch with Northern Quest making a bid on the outside. Kudos fought gamely in the stretch but failed to resist the late surge of Blueprint, who inched away to the half-length victory. The winner completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.16 on a firm turf course.
Bred in Ireland by the Queen, Blueprint (Generous--Highbrow, by Shirley Heights)
is currently trained by Robert Hess Jr. The win marks Blueprint's second graded stakes win on the year and follows his lone defeat as a 6-year-old, a third-place finish behind Bienamdo and Persianlux in the 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IT). As a 5-year-old, he won the Sagitta Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II).
Blueprint returned $4.40, $2.60, and $2.20. Kudos paid $3.20 and $2.40. Northern Quest was worth $2.60 to show. The $1 exacta paid $5.50. (Chart, Equibase