05/08/2011 5:58PM

Hollywood: The Rafael Bejarano show


In successive races, jockey Rafael Bejarano gave outstanding efforts to win the Alydar Stakes on Awesome Patriot and a $25,000 claimer on Gumption.

In the Alydar Stakes over 1 1-8 miles on turf, Bejarano coaxed Awesome Patriot ($6.20) to the lead with a vigorous early ride, led by 1 1-2 lengths on the backstretch and had enough in reserve to hold off Uncle Sam and win by three-quarters of a length. The Alydar Stakes gave trainer Bob Baffert a sweep of the first two positions. For Awesome Patriot, the Alydar Stakes was his first start over 1 1-8 miles and first stakes win, which could lead to a start in the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Gumption ($25.40) is not bound for a stakes anytime soon, but the 5-year-old mare did ended a five-race losing streak dating back to November when Bejarano gave her a heads-up ride in the stretch of a race over 1 1-16 miles on turf.

Gumption was on the inside turning for home, racing toward the back of the field, when Bejarano began to urge her closer to the leaders passing the eighth pole. With horses in front of him, Bejarano guided Gumption toward the outside, found sufficient room and got a response when he placed the mare in the clear. Gumption caught 7-1 El Nadia in the final strides to win by a half-length, with Samba School a head behind El Nadia in the field of nine.

Samba School was claimed in a four-way shake for $25,000 by trainer Julio Canani.

Gumption won the first leg of a pick six that drew a pool of $171,616.