12/14/2013 7:15PM

Hollywood Park: Blueskiesnrainbows heads 1-2-3 sweep for Hollendorfer in Native Diver

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Benoit & Associates
Blueskiesnrainbows, under Martin Pedroza, leads wire to wire in the Native Diver.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Blueskiesnrainbows, Hear the Ghost, and Rousing Sermon gave Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer a sweep of the first three positions of Saturday’s $150,500 Native Diver Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Hollendorfer did not bet the $1 trifecta, which paid $59.30 on his three runners.

“I like to gamble on buying horses,” he said with a smile.

Blueskiesnrainbows ($8.40) led throughout the Grade 3 Native Diver, winning by a half-length over Hear the Ghost, the 5-2 favorite. Rousing Sermon  finished a half-length behind Hear the Ghost, and was followed by Drill, Soi Phet, Mobilized, and Setsuko. Fire With Fire and Slim Shadey were scratched on Saturday morning.

The withdrawal of Fire With Fire and Slim Shadey left Hollendorfer convinced Blueskiesnrainbows would lead from his inside post position. Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Blueskiesnrainbows set fractions of 23.51 and 47.89 seconds, leading by a half-length on the backstretch.

In the stretch, Blueskiesnrainbows widened his advantage to 1 1/2 lengths, enough of a lead to hold off a determined Hear the Ghost in the final furlong.

“When I was thinking of the race, I thought that if Blueskiesnrainbows was on the lead, he’d be tough to get by,” Hollendorfer said. “He’s been getting better and better. Today was his race.”

Blueskiesnrainbows races for Bad Boy Racing and Whizway Farms. A 4-year-old colt by English Channel, Blueskiesnrainbows was second in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon over 1 3/4 miles at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, leading in the final furlong before losing by a length to London Bridge.

Blueskiesnrainbows won the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes here in 2012 when trained by Bob Baffert. Blueskiesnrainbows has won 6 of 22 starts and earned $549,552.

Hollendorfer said he considers Blueskiesnrainbows, Hear the Ghost, and Rousing Sermon to be long-term candidates for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.