Updated on 09/16/2011 8:18AM

Beat Hollow scores first U.S. stakes win

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Beat Hollow scores his first U.S. stakes win Saturday at Churchill Downs with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Beat Hollow finally lived up to his reputation in the $452,500 at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Scoring his first stakes win in the United States, Beat Hollow caught the front-running Climate at the top of the stretch and held off a world-class cast of challengers.

Ridden by Alex Solis, Beat Hollow ($5.20) ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.35.

The 5-year-old Beat Hollow gave trainer Bobby Frankel his first victory in the Turf Classic.

"We always knew he was a great horse," Solis said. "Bobby said to do whatever I felt best and it all worked out perfectly."

Solis had Beat Hollow in a stalking position, chasing Climate through relatively quick fractions of 23.35 and 47 seconds. Beat Hollow challenged Climate on the second turn and took the lead turning for home.

Hap, a six-time stakes winner, launched the first challenge, but could not get to Beat Hollow and was passed by With Anticipation, a three-time stakes winner last year, in the final sixteenth.

"He responded coming off the turn, but inside the sixteenth pole he got a little tired," said Pat Day, who rode With Anticipation.

Beat Hollow won by 1 1/4 lengths over With Anticipation, who finished three-quarters of a length in front of Hap.

Frankel said he was confident throughout the race and did not want Beat Hollow too far back of Climate early in the race. Although Climate was making his stakes debut, he had won three consecutive allowance races on turf in Southern California and was considered a threat on the lead.

White Heart, the defending champion, who was making his first start since finishing unplaced in the Japan Cup last November, finished fourth. He was followed by Pisces, Baptize, Quiet Resolve, Climate, Talkmeister, and Sligo Bay.

The Grade 1 Woodford Reserve was Beat Hollow's first stakes win in nearly two years. In England in 2000, Beat Hollow was third as the favorite in the English Derby, but he rebounded to win the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris that summer.

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Beat Hollow has won 5 of 7 starts and $839,521.

Frankel said that Beat Hollow would be pointed to the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Belmont Park on June 8.