Trainer Joe Garcia Jr. and Squirtle Squirt both earned their first graded stakes wins Sunday when the latter crossed the finish line two lengths clear of Legendary Weave to win the $105,900 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III). The victory was the fourth consecutive win for the 2-year-old, who was ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr. The win marks Pincay's seventh Juvenile Championship win.
Over a fast track, 120 pound highweight Squirtle Squirt set fractions of :21.82 and :44.75 while building a three-length lead after five furlongs run in :57.04. He cruised under the wire under left-handed urging from Pincay, stopping the timer in 1:09.98 for the six furlongs. Drumcliff finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Legendary Weave. Casual Country and A Lil Sweet completed the order of finish for the strung-out field.
"This is a nice colt," said Pincay. "He's got a lot of speed. He was going very fast and he didn't feel like it. I was surprised by the fractions because it felt like he was just breezing out there."
With his third stakes win of the meet, Squirtle Squirt joins Full Moon Madness and Riboletta as the only triple stakes winners for the Hollywood Park Spring/Summer meet. Previous to the Juvenile Championship, he won the $84,000 Haggin Stakes and the $79,000 W.L. Proctor Memorial. He won for the first time at Hollywood Park in May after finishing fourth in his two-furlong debut at Santa Anita in April. Pincay has been in the irons for all of Squirtle Squirt's starts.
Squirtle Squirt (Marquetry--Lost the Code, by Lost Code) is a February foal owned by David J. Lanzman Racing Stable. He was bred in Kentucky by Audrey Narducci. Squirtle Squirt earned $63,540 for the win, his fourth in five starts.
Squirtle Squirt returned $2.80, $2.20, and $2.10. The $1 exacta paid $4.90. (Chart, Equibase