11/30/2008 12:00AM

Court Vision's rally takes Hollywood Derby


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - As good as he was on dirt, Court Vision is even better on turf. He turned in the best performance of his career on Sunday, when he rallied from last to first, into the teeth of a slow pace, to capture the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Derby, the final stakes race of the turf festival at Hollywood Park.

Court Vision ($9.60) came charging down the center of the course and beat Cowboy Cal by three-quarters of a length, with Midships another three-quarters of a length back in third. Of the other well-regarded runners, Gio Ponti was seventh after encountering traffic, Madeo eighth, and Sailors Cap last in the field of nine.

Court Vision completed 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 2:01.43, but the early fractions of the race - 25.10 seconds, 49.41, and 1:13.40 for the first six furlongs, all set by Muny - seemingly worked against Court Vision.

But he made up more than six lengths in a final quarter-mile that was run in 23.87 seconds under jockey Ramon Dominguez, who won the Matriarch Stakes one hour earlier with Cocoa Beach.

"I was concentrating on getting my horse to relax," Dominguez said. "I didn't want to be that far back. Ideally I would have been laying a little closer, but at the same time he was carrying himself well. He finished very, very well the last part."

The win was the fifth in 12 starts for Court Vision, who won the Jamaica Handicap and was an unlucky loser of the Virginia Derby in two of his previous grass races. Last year, at age 2, he won the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct.

Bill Mott trains Court Vision, who is owned by a partnership of IEAH Stables and the WinStar Farm of Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt. He will stay in training next year at age 4.