The 4-year-old Street Cry colt, trained by Bruce Headley, established Hollywood's Cushion Track mark of 1:07.55 for the six-furlong Los Angeles while winning by a measured one length over the front-running Sailors Sunset. It was the third straight win for the Kentucky-bred Street Boss, a $300,000 Keeneland September yearling sale in 2005.
"This is just his first (stakes) win, but he ran pretty fast today," Headley said. "I think he’s like Surf Cat and can sprint or route. I want to keep focused on the sprint because that’s what I’m doing. I’m not doing anything but sprinting because of the Breeders’ Cup. They were all out there running pretty fast, so it looked like the pace set up just right.”
David Flores, replacing Alex Solis on Street Boss for Headley, was squeezed and clipped heels shortly after the start and trailed the field down the backstretch. After making substantial progress while getting a ground-saving trip down the backstretch, Street Boss had to be steadied again rounding the turn for home. But in the home stretch, Street Boss angled out for clearance and paddled Cushion aggressively to sweep past the pacesetters High Standards, Sailors Sunset, and Peace Chant under left-handed urging.
"The horses inside and outside shut me off," Flores said of the start. "I just gave him his head because sometimes when you take hold it gets worse. He was able to recover right away. It was like he got mad after that happened. I could feel it in the middle of the turn, I had so much horse. I was just waiting for room. When he got clear at the top of the stretch, he just blew away from them."
Sailors Sunset, who won the Los Angeles last year, finished second by 1 1/2 lengths under Jon Court at odds of 14-1, with High Standards, a 30-1 outsider ridden by Joe Rosario, holding on for third by 1 1/4 lengths. With those battling on the front end throughout, the quarter-mile fractions were an eye-catching :21.74 and :43.80.
The lightly raced Street Boss, who had not previously worked or raced at Hollywood Park, won for the fifth time in nine starts for owners Bluegate Corp., Headley, and Marsha Naify. Brilliant Stable bred the chestnut, who bumped his career earnings to $221,800 with the winning share of $66,300.
Street Boss was heavily backed at 7-5 in the nine-horse field, paying $4.80, $3.40, and $2.80 while topping a $2 exacta worth $64. Sailors Sunset, who has not won in five starts since last year's race for trainer Marcelo Polanco, was a tough runner-up, returning $9.40 and $7.40. High Standards was $9.40 to show.
"It was frustrating," Court said. "My horse wasn't getting tired. I was surprised to see Street Boss run me down. He just got outrun fair and square."
The Chilean-bred El Manuel ran for fourth, followed by Bonfante, Barber, Peace Chant, Doppio, and grade I winner Bilo, the second choice, who weakened in the stretch after a stalking trip.