Grandeur simply powered home in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) to defeat Interaction (ARG), becoming the first 3-year-old since Bien Bien to win the prestigious turf test.
Trying 1 ½ miles for the first time after a troubled runner-up effort behind Unbridled Command in the Grade I Hollywood Derby Nov. 25, Grandeur laid relatively close to the moderate fractions, swung outside the run home and proved best for the second time in three races in the United States.
Owned by Yvonne Jacques and now in the barn of Paddy Gallagher, the gelded son of Verglas and the Desert Sun mare Misskinta completed the distance in 2:27.95 while winning by three-quarters of a length.
The victory was his sixth in 12 starts, pushing his earnings to $398,438. The gray has been worse than third only twice.
Favored for the second time in this country, Grandeur paid $5.20, $3.60 and $2.60.
“I really didn’t do much with him,’’ said Gallagher. “I didn’t have to. This was his third graded race in six weeks. I’m just thankful that the owner left him with me. She lives in Europe and I believe the plan was to take him back there, depending on what he did today and eventually run him in Dubai. I’d sure like to keep him, but he’s going back to (his former trainer) Jeremy Noseda.
The win was a meet-high fifth in a stakes and third in the Turf Cup for Gomez, who returned to action Saturday after missing the previous two days due to illness.
“I wasn’t happy with the horse I was following (Optimizer),’’ said Gomez, whose earlier Turf Cup victories came with Boboman (2006) and Sunriver (2007). “I wanted to find my way around him and then I thought about sliding my way through Slim Shadey, but decided I didn’t like that option. As we approached the final turn, I decided to take him outside of Optimizer and when I asked (Grandeur) he went on with it without a problem.’’
Seventh in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap Nov. 23, Interaction improved with additional distance, gaining second with a rail rally under jockey Joe Talamo. The Argentine bred returned $19.80 and $11.80.
–Hollywood Park Publicity contributed to this report.