06/29/2013 9:08PM

Hollywood Park: Centralinteligence gets first stakes win in Triple Bend

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Benoit & Associates
Centralinteligence likely will point toward the Breeders' Cup Sprint, though his victory Saturday in the Triple Bend Handicap earned him a spot in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When Centralinteligence was ready to return from a lengthy layoff earlier this meet at Betfair Hollywood Park, trainer Ron Ellis and co-owner Bob Feld designed a schedule that they hoped would have Centralinteligence peaking for the Grade 1, $250,750 Triple Bend Handicap on Saturday.

Maybe they should go work for the CIA because their cloak-and-dagger plan paid off handsomely, with Centralinteligence scoring an 8-1 upset win by an emphatic 3 1/2 lengths.

“This is what we had planned for all meet,” Ellis said in the winner’s circle after Centralinteligence ran down Comma to the Top for the first stakes victory of his career. The seven-furlong Triple Bend offers a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but Ellis said Centralinteligence was likely to point for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint instead.

Regardless, he will get a vacation during Del Mar before coming back to the races at Santa Anita in the fall. He earned the brief time off by running the best race of his life Saturday. Caught four paths wide on the far turn, Centralinteligence ($19) was resolute in the stretch under jockey Victor Espinoza. He pulled away late while covering seven furlongs in 1:21.57 on Cushion Track.

Comma to the Top was 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Morning Line. Drill was fourth and was followed by Rail Trip, Cyclometer, Camp Victory, and Jimmy Creed, the 3-2 favorite who was making his first start since a planned trip to the Met Mile was scrapped at the last minute last month.

After the race, Gary Mandella, the son of Richard Mandella, Jimmy Creed’s trainer, said on Twitter that Jimmy Creed lost his left-front shoe in the race.

Centralinteligence was sixth in last year’s Triple Bend and came out of the race with two chips in his right knee, Ellis said. Surgery was performed by Dr. Wayne McIlwraith. He did not return until May 4, when fourth in the five-furlong Cool Frenchy here. He then finished second to Comma to the Top in the six-furlong Los Angeles Handicap on May 27.

“We planned for the Triple Bend, and it came together,” Ellis said.

Centralinteligence, 5, has won four times in 12 starts. A gelding by Smarty Jones, Centralinteligence was bred by Patricia Chapman, who owned Smarty Jones with her husband, Roy, when he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2004.

michael More than 1 year ago
How did everyone forget how nice Morning line is. Prices were low for exotics.
Don Sandri More than 1 year ago
Nice job by Ellis. He should be a formidable foe in the dirt mile..
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I suppose it is anticlimatic to watch the horses you bet like Creed fade, and Comma get run over. We all see it differently. This horse was ready for a huge effort and took the worst of it attending the pace four wide and fun for me to see he was going to run right by. He wasn't mentioned once by anybody in this race and I suppose that's how you get 8-1 on a horse that I never suspected would be more than 7-2. He was tons the best.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I wrote it being anticlimatic as a fan, with so many of the prior grade 1 winners just not running much and with Centralintelligence running so well. At the top of the stretch, it was fairly apparent that Central had Comma measured, and there was absolutely no one really moving well from behind. Clear victory combined with a bunch of flat performances, hence the finish of the race was anticlimatic. As for Centralintelligence's odds, I have no idea how he was a longer shot than Drill. That was dumbfounding.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
With all respect to Centralintelligence, the race ended up being anticlimatic for a field that now has 7 grade 1 winners. There really wasn't a whole bunch of running going on behind Comma to the Top, and I was actually a little surprised that Comma didn't put up a bit more of a fight in the stretch. Morning Line deserves kudos for running 3rd off a year+ layoff, and now should be set to do some damage in races from 7-9 furlongs, but Morning Line was certainly far from spectacular. Jimmy Creed ran a dud, Camp Victory is way off his top form, Drill can't beat these, Rail Trip was preppping, and Cyclometer was overmatched. Maybe this was Centralintelligence's breakthrough effort after two previous grade 1 bombs and he is now poised to be a big player in the sprint divsion. He certainly won this race comfortably. But I will need to see it again before pulling the bandwagon.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
8-1 was a nice surprise.
redboy More than 1 year ago
Very impressive win Showed tons of power and speed when asked , with a 1/8 to go.