Updated on 09/15/2011 1:31PM

Good Journey captures Citation


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - An afternoon of rain kept Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal out of Saturday's $500,000 Citation Handicap* (click here for chart) but it gave Good Journey a turf course that more resembled a European surface than Hollywood Park.

Racing over a course rated good, Good Journey closed from fifth to outfinish Decarchy, winning by a half-length. The Grade 2 Citation was Good Journey's first stakes win.

A 5-year-old owned by a partnership and trained by Wally Dollase, Good Journey ($5.40) started as part of a favored three-horse entry with El Cielo and I've Decided.

There were 13 entries, but only eight starters. The rain led to the scratches of Val Royal, Lord Jim, Purely Cozzene, Fighting Falcon and Takarian.

David Milch, who owns Val Royal, said he wanted to run to impress Eclipse Award voters, but changed his mind after talking with jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr., following the Generous Stakes earlier in the day.

"I wanted to run him but I can't risk the horse," Milch said. "Jose said chunks of turf were coming up. It was gracious of Jose to give a straight call because he gave up a mount."

Good Journey was ridden by Chris McCarron, who kept his mount in fifth on the backstretch, stalking I've Decided who had a length lead for the first half of the race.

Rallying three-wide Good Journey engaged I've Decided and Decarchy on the final turn when I've Decided dropped back. Good Journey and Decarchy raced together through the lane trading leads before Good Journey pulled clear in the final sixteenth.

The result was a relief to Dollase, who bought Good Journey as a maiden two years ago and gave the horse eight months off earlier this year.

"I thought it would come down to whoever liked the ground," Dollase said. "He appreciated the soft going. He had foot problems.

"He runs like a European horse. He rates early and then kicks like a horse on fire. Someone else taught him that, but I'm glad he does it."

*In the $74,980 Safely Kept Handicap, European imports trained by Bobby Frankel swept the exacta. Rolly Polly rallied three-wide on the turn to win by 1 1-2 lengths over Twin Set. Salty Helen finished third.

Rolly Polly ($6.40) was ridden by Kent Desormeaux and ran 5 1-2 furlongs on turf in 1:05.06.

Citation Handicap Chart*

* Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.