A return to Betfair Hollywood Park proved the tonic for Boat Trip, a last-to-first winner of the $99,998 Hollywood Turf Express Sunday.
Some five weeks removed from a 12th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, the 4-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday took full advantage of a three-pronged pace duel to win for the fourth time in five starts over the local grass.
Given the fact No Silent, Chips All In and Unbridled's Note were involved in a battle that lasted the entire six furlongs, it was fitting they finished in a triple dead heat for second.
It was only the third triple dead heat in Hollywood Park's 75-year history. The other two were for first.
Challenger Tom, Joe's Pleasure and Leaful finished on even terms in a $5,000 claiming race July 3, 1957.
More than 40 years later, the photo finish camera couldn't separate Chans Pearl, Cool Miss Ann and Tina Celesta in an $8,000 claimer for fillies and mares Dec. 7, 1997.
Able to save ground most of the way under jockey Joe Talamo, Boat Trip angled outside for the final eighth of a mile and was up in the final strides for his fifth lifetime victory.
Out of the Seeking the Gold mare, Boat Trip, who won by a half-length, increased his earnings to $253,196 in 14 starts.
Bred in Kentucky by Galleria Bloodstock and Samac, Boat Trip compled the distance in 1:08.45 in a race returned to the Autumn stakes calendar for the first time since 2008.
The 7-2 fourth choice in a field of five, the bay colt paid $9.60, $2.10 and $2.10. No Silent, Chips All In and Unbridled's Note, the even-money favorite, all returned $2.10 and $2.10.
“He's going to be sad to see (Betfair Hollywood Park) go, that's for sure,'' said Pender. “He just likes this layout, there's no question about it. Whenever there's a paceless race, there's always three of them dueling up there. Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?
“No, that really helped. I was hoping he'd get a setup because he's kind of one dimensional. I'll be interested in seeing how this horse runs going a mile. He won the Tsunami Slew (June 22, 2012) going a mile.
“As he gets older, that's where we'll start looking. He's a big, handsome colt.''
Jonny's Choice, the lone California bred in the lineup and the longest shot in the race at 22-1, trailed. He finished 2 ¼ lengths behind No Silent, Chips All In and Unbridled's Note.
Racing resumes Thursday. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
The Betfair Hollywood Park Players' Club will be open for dark day simulcasts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is free.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2017 Paulick Report.