Chiropractor, a 14-1 longshot under Corey Nakatani, rallied into contention from between horses entering the stretch to overhaul even-money choice Om and then held off the determined challenge of March to win the Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby Saturday at Del Mar.
Giving the Glen Hill Farm of 96-year-old Leonard Lavin its second stakes success of the afternoon, Chiropractor hit the wire a head in front of March, a 12-1 shot piloted by Rafael Bejarano. Om, the 4-5 favorite with Gary Stevens coming into the event off impressive triumphs in the Del Mar Derby and Twilight Derby, ran a game race to be third, a half-length behind the runner-up and the same margin in front of fourth-place Fundamental in the field of 14 three-year-olds.
Chiropractor, trained by Tom Proctor, ran the nine furlongs on the grass in 1:48.87 and returned $30.80, $18 and $6 after recording his third victory in seven starts. First money of $180,000 increased the bankroll of the Kitten’s Joy gelding to $273,100. The Hollywood Derby marked his stakes debut.
March paid $14.80 and $6.80, while Om returned $2.60 to show. Withdrawn from the original field was Vigilante.
Earlier in the day, in the first of two supporting features on the nine-race program, Glen Hill Farm’s Family Meeting, a 37-1 outsider ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, rallied from far back to outfinish 6-1 Mokat and win the Grade III $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes by three-quarters of a length.
Third in the field of a dozen two-year-old fillies was Sutton’s Smile, with Mirage fourth. Coppa was withdrawn from the original field.
Family Meeting, a daughter of Sky Mesa trained by Proctor, ran the mile over the grass in 1:37.14 and returned $76.60, $33.60 and $13.80 after her second win in three starts. She had broken her maiden second time out at Laurel race course in Maryland three weeks ago. First money of $60,000 increased her career earnings to $84,840.
Runner-up Mokat paid $8 and $6.80, while Sutton’s Smile returned $8.20 to show. Previously unbeaten Riri, the 2-1 favorite after two wins, was tenth.
The third and final added-money race on the program was the Grade III $150,000 Native Diver Stakes for older Thoroughbreds and it was won in brilliant fashion by Kaleem Shah’s three-year-old Dortmund piloted by Stevens.
The son of Big Brown, who went to the sidelines earlier this year after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness Stakes to stablemate American Pharoah, scored his second victory on the comeback trail, breezing home four and one-half lengths in front of Imperative, with Iron Fist third and Big Cazanova fourth. Majestic Heat, who set the pace until the final quarter mile, was fifth and last. Withdrawn were Cat Burglar and Yahilwa were scratched.
Dortmund, from the barn of Bob Baffert, ran the nine furlongs on the main track in 1:48.06 and returned $3.20, $2.60 and $2.10 with his eighth win in ten starts and sixth in a stakes, including the Santa Anita Derby last April. First money of $90,000 bolstered his bankroll to $1,712,480.
Imperative paid $3.60 and $2.10, while Iron Fist returned $2.10 to show. There was a minus show pool of $8,591.64.
There was a single perfect ticket in the Pick Six and it paid $93,134.
COREY NAKATANI (Chiropractor, winner) – “What a great outfit to ride for. Tom (trainer Tom Proctor) always has them ready. I asked him if he wanted me to do anything special (it was Nakatani’s first time on the horse), but he said, no, just ride your race. Get him to settle and you’ll be fine. With these kind of races, the pace is the key. And that worked well for us today. The colt was full of himself today and when it came time he fired.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (March, second) – “A good race for him. No excuses for me. We were in a good spot; we had a good trip. We were just outfinished.”
GARY STEVENS (Om, third) – “It was a super effort by this horse today. He threw a fit in the starting gate. We had all kinds of problems; he kicked the you-know-what out of it. He was good during the running though. He wasn’t pulling. He ran his race and ran well. We just got beat.”
AIMEE DOLLASE, assistant to Tom Proctor (Chiropractor, winner) – “Tremendous race. Very good ride. Nice horse. Tom had a lot of confidence in him, that’s why we went in this race. Very good day. Just awesome.”
FRACTIONS: :23.51 :47.41 1:12.23 1:37.04 1:48.04
This is the second time the Hollywood Derby has been run at Del Mar. Previously, it had been run 73 times at Hollywood Park.
This is the first stakes win of the meeting for rider Nakatani. He now has won 104 stakes at Del Mar, second most of all time.
This is the second stakes win of the meet for trainer Proctor. He now has won 13 stakes at Del Mar.
The winner is owned by – and was bred by – Glen Hill Farm, the nom de course for
96-year-old Leonard Lavin of Glencoe, IL, and Ocala, FL.
Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club