Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan's homebred 3-year-old filly Kumari Continent edged Queenie Belle in deep stretch to win the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park. Under Kent Desormeaux, Kumari Continent stopped the timer in 1:49.13 after running 1 1/8 miles over a fast track. Kumari Continent returned $5.20, $3, and $2.20 as the post time favorite. The $1 exacta paid $9.
Cash Run led into the first turn with Queenie Belle to the inside and Kumari Continent flanked to her outside. Cash Run led through the backstretch, into the second turn, and as they entered the homestretch. Queenie Belle then squeezed through a narrow gap at the rail and looked to be the winner in mid-stretch. Kumari Continent closed determinedly in the stretch to pull out the victory, leading by a neck at the wire.
"Things worked out well for us, we had a great trip," said Desormeaux. "She accepted the fact there was a horse in front of her and, consequently, she relaxed very well."
Saudi Poetry was forced to alter course in search of running room in the stretch, losing any chance at the win. The Bob Baffert trainee finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Queenie Belle. Cash Run finished another 3 1/2 lengths back in fourth, followed by Kentucky Storm.
Kumari Continent (Kris S.--Rajmata, by Known Fact) earned $90,000 for the win, her third in seven starts. She finished second to Surfside in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and followed that with a win in the restricted Providencia Stakes on turf. In her next start, she was sent off as the narrow favorite in Kentucky Oaks where she finished a disappointing ninth. She was switched back to turf for the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT), in which she finished second to Classy Cara. She was then given a short freshening by trainer Paco Gonzalez. (Chart, Equibase