12/07/2013 8:42PM

Hollywood Park: Broken Sword gets loose on lead to capture Bayakoa

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Benoit & Associates
Broken Sword, ridden by Joel Rosario, earns her first graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 Bayakoa.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Broken Sword was allowed an easy lead in Saturday’s $151,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, and carried that advantage to her first graded stakes win.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Broken Sword ($17.80) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.98, winning the Grade 2 Bayakoa Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths over even-money favorite Fiftyshadesofhay, who raced in traffic to the turn.

“We wound up on an uncontested lead and I didn’t expect that,” winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “That contributed to her win.”

Broken Sword set a decent pace of 23.33 and 46.53 seconds, leading by as many as four lengths on the backstretch. The lead was reduced to 2 1/2 lengths over 40-1 Champagneandcaviar on the turn before Broken Sword pulled away again late.

Fiftyshadesofhay, a three-time stakes winner earlier this year, closed from eighth in a field of nine fillies and mares to finish second, 5 1/2 lengths in front of 7-2 Warren’s Veneda.

“She broke crooked and got shuffled back to almost last,” said Bob Baffert, who trains Fiftyshadesofhay. “She ran a really good race.”

Warren’s Veneda, the winner of the Cat’s Cradle Handicap for California-breds here on Nov. 17, was followed in the order of finish by Champagneandcaviar, Curvy Cat, Spellbound, Magic Union, Charm the Maker, and Charlie Em.

Broken Sword races for Hollendorfer, Mark Dedomenico, and George Todaro. A 3-year-old filly by Broken Vow, Broken Sword won her debut in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif., in July 2012.

“When she broke her maiden, we thought she could be any kind of horse,” Hollendorfer said.

Broken Sword did not start again as a 2-year-old. This year, she was winless in five allowance races or optional claimers before winning an optional claimer over a mile on the synthetic track at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 10.

The Bayakoa Stakes was the graded stakes debut for Broken Sword, who has won 3 of 8 starts and earned $156,660.