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DEL MAR, CA – Klaravich Stables’ Domestic Spending got up just in the nick of time to nip Smooth Like Strait in Saturday’s $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar.
Domestic Spending was the 4/1 third choice as he broke from post 8 under Irad Ortiz Jr. and dwelt near the rear while Smooth Like Strait pressured Get Smokin through opening fractions of :23.87, :48.23, and 1:12.38.
Get Smokin loomed a 30/1 upset specialist as he rounded the far turn still in command, but Smooth Like Strait loomed up as they straightened for home.
Smooth Like Strait took over at the 1/8 pole, but Domestic Spending was flying furiously from the rear down the middle of the track alongside Gufo and took over in the final jumps.
The Chad Brown trainee crossed a head and a neck past Smooth Like Strait and Gufo, respectively, while completing the 1 1/8-mile firm turf route in 1:47.15.
“I thought I was going to be closer with him, but he came out of there a little slow and we were in the back,” Ortiz Jr. said. “I worked my way up on the backside and he was running perfect. When I asked him for his run at the 3/8 (pole), he was ready. He really put in a nice kick. He’s been a little green in his earlier races, but he’s getting better all the time.”
Gufo was running nearly in step with the winner but ran out of stretch and could only take third. Though caught late, Get Smokin was just a 1/2-length further back in fourth.
Decorated Invader, Scarto, Storm the Court, Lane Way, Taishan, Kanderel, and Strongconstitution completed the order of finish.
California Kook and Ever Dangerous were scratched.
Domestic Spending’s win was his second straight following the Saratoga Derby and improved his overall record to 5-4-0-1, with his lone defeat coming in the Hall of Fame Stakes (G2). The British-bred 3-year-old Kingman gelding, purchased for just over $412,000 as a yearling, has now earned $520,900.
“I talked to Chad coming over to the paddock and he just said stay with the plan,” said assistant trainer Jose Hernandez. “He broke a little slow but he was in good position, and at about the 1/2-mile point, he started picking it up. By then, I knew he was going to be there at the end. He’s a really good horse.”
Domestic Spending returned $10.40 to win, $5 to place, and $3.20 to show. Smooth Like Strait brought back $4.20 to place and $3 to show, while Gufo paid $3.40 to show.
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