10/10/2010 8:48PM

Fantasy Factory goes to Hollywood Park



Professional skateboarders know a lot about grinding and half-pipes, and perhaps a little less about horse racing.

Pro skater Rob Dyrdek is not a handicapper, but he understands what gets juices flowing like they were Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Dyrdek, skater, actor, entrepreneur and star of the reality TV show “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory,” showed up for one particular horse.

Mega Heat, a 3-year-old that Dyrdek co-owns with Joe Ciaglia and Frank Alesia, was making the second start of his career for trainer Pete Eurton. Dyrdek was pumped.

“It’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s – do I have a horse good enough to win a race?”

Five weeks earlier, Mega Heat finished last in his debut. Everyone expected Mega Heat to improve Sunday while dropping from open company into a race for California-bred maidens.

If the trainer felt extra pressure, Eurton kept it hidden. “I just want him to run the right way,” he said. First time out, Mega Heat showed speed and faded. For his second start, Eurton wanted jockey Brice Blanc to take Mega Heat off the pace, and finish.

Dyrdek and the entourage were not discouraged by his 6.70-1 odds. Mega Heat had a longshot pedigree, after all. His full sister was the first Unusual Heat offspring to make to the races. Frankie Eyelashes paid $51.60 winning her debut Aug. 3, 2001.

The field broke from the gate, and Blanc eased Mega Heat back to fifth place. Perfect. It was right where he belonged. The 3-year-old picked up steam on the turn, and swung out three-wide into the lane.

He had a clear run. Dyrdek and crew sensed an upset, and their cheers grew louder.

From the quarter pole to the finish is where hearts are broken, and where dreams are realized. It is where millionaire owners and $2 bettors learn if their horse is good enough to win a race.

In deep stretch, Mega Heat hit the front and won clear. “We got a winner!” Dyrdek shouted. Hugs and high-fives all around, as everyone tumbled into the winner’s circle.

Dyrdek has built a celebrity career based on his imagination and ability to recognize what gets people excited.

As he celebrated victory as new owner, an enthusiastic Dyrdek summed it up:

“It’s the energy of the moment. Money can’t buy it.”

 Rob Dyrdek (right) and a fan celebrate victory at Hollywood.