Closing furiously into a hot pace, 13-1 shot Leroy's Dynameaux overtook Macias in deep stretch and held off favored Bogie by a neck at the wire to win the $100,000 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) on the Hollywood Park turf June 20.
In his graded stakes debut for trainer Mark Glatt, Ellenay Racing's homebred Leroy's Dynameaux defeated seven other 3-year-olds in a fast time of 1:40.43 for the 1 1/16-mile distance over firm ground.
Joel Rosario had Leroy's Dynameaux held up at the rear of the pack with Bogie as Macias, ridden by Martin Garcia, went to the front from the far outside and outfought Ukandoit and Camp Victory for the early lead. Macias burst to a three-length advantage coming out of the clubhouse turn and maintained a clear edge while clicking off sizzling splits of :22.85, :45.71 and 1:10.12. The field drew closer on the final turn, but Macias still had a two-length lead as he battled through the stretch.
But those fractions took their toll in the final furlong and Leroy's Dynameaux, who found clear sailing while racing wide on the far turn, emerged from the pack to challenge first. On the far outside, however, charged Bogie with Alex Solis aboard, setting up an exciting finish. Leroy's Dynameaux inched past Macias in the closing strides while drifting out and the wire came just in time for the son of Leroidesanimaux.
Leroidesanimaux, incidentally, holds the course mark for 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood of 1:38.45 set on May 1, 2004.
“I wasn’t that confident during the race because on the first turn he was trying to get out," Rosario said of the winner. "Coming to the five-sixteenths (pole) he just moved and the other horses were slowing down and I took it from there. He’s a little horse but he’s a good horse and always tries."
Bogie, the 7-5 choice, had to wait a bit off heels before launching his late bid and finished a willing second. Macias ran a game third, a half-length farther back.
This was just the fourth start of Leroy's Dynameaux's career, all on turf. The dark bay gelding won his debut on the Santa Anita hillside turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs March 26, then returned to the same layout April 15 to finish a close second to Ukandoit in an optional claiming allowance.
Glatt sent him north for his next start, the minor Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Leroy's Dynameaux turned in an encouraging performance, finishing third, beaten just three-quarters of a length by two other Will Rogers foes, Hudson Landing and Dream Nettie.
“We got the pace scenario that we expected," said Glatt, whose last graded stakes win came with Elusive Diva in the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. III) during the 2005 Oak Tree meet. "I’m kind of surprised he went off at such a big mutuel because the horse ran extremely well at Golden Gate. He was moved way prematurely and it was his first time around two turns. He had to improve. Whether that would be good enough to win this race remained to be seen.
"I had a lot of confidence going into the race. That’s the thing, he doesn’t want to get beat. Other horses may be more talented than him, but he wants to get it and that will win a lot of these races.”
Leroy's Dynameaux earned $60,000 for his second lifetime win and has now banked $102,800 in his brief career.
Bred in Kentucky, Leroy's Dynameaux is out of the Dynaformer mare Dyna Peak.
Leroy's Dynameaux paid $29.20, $10 and $6 while topping a $91 exacta. Bogie, an Irish import this spring now in the Paddy Gallagher barn, had an impressive win over the course May 19 and returned $3.60 and $2.60. Macias, a two-time stakes winner on turf at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert, was $3.20 to show.
It was one length to Hudson Landing in fourth, followed by Dream Nettie, Camp Victory, Who's Up and Ukandoit. Summer Movie, who was unplaced in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) a day earlier, was scratched.