05/27/2013 5:20PM

Hollywood Park: Comma to the Top scores in Los Angeles Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Comma to the Top, with Edwin Maldonado aboard, wins the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Comma to the Top lost a fellow pacesetter for Monday’s $100,250 Los Angeles Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park when Fast Bullet was scratched the morning of the race because of illness.

Comma to the Top lost the rest of his competition in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap shortly after the start.

Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Comma to the Top took the lead a few strides into the six-furlong race and never was troubled, winning the ninth stakes of his career by 1 1/4 lengths.

“When [Fast Bullet] scratched, we knew it would let Comma to the Top be by himself,” Maldonado said. “It was a matter of getting him to relax. He’s a pro.”

Sent off favored, Comma to the Top ($3.40) set fractions of 22.37 and 44.78 seconds, leading by 2 1/2 lengths on the turn and 3 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining. Centralinteligence closed the gap in the final furlong but could not reach the winner.

“I liked 22 and change,” trainer Peter Miller said of the opening quarter-mile time. “I think the track is playing a second slow. He’s always been a good turn horse. He cruises home. He makes me nervous in the last sixteenth.”

Comma to the Top was timed in 1:09.11. Centralinteligence finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Camp Victory, the winner of the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap here last summer. Majestic City, Tiz Tee Time, and Apriority completed the order of finish.

Centralinteligence and Camp Victory were second and third in the 2012 Los Angeles Handicap behind Roman Threat.

Comma to the Top gave owner Gary Barber his third win in the Los Angeles Handicap in the last five years. He won with Red Arrow in 2009 and Cost of Freedom in 2010. Barber is the winningest owner in the history of the Los Angeles Handicap. He co-owns Comma to the Top with Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsuhijara.

Comma to the Top has won three stakes this year, including the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap at Aqueduct on March 2 and the Cool Frenchy Stakes here May 4. A 5-year-old gelding by Bwana Charlie, Comma to the Top has won 14 of 31 starts and $1,293,406.

John More than 1 year ago
Seems like Baffert is always scratching horse's right up to the last minute ! Alot of these are in big races like this one, something sort of fishy here ! Another "sick this morning !"............... Dont ever see Jerry Hollendorfer's horse getting "sick" the morning of a big race ! Maybe just a case of , that other horse is too fast for us !(Comma to the Top).........flu !
John Pisiona More than 1 year ago
Vet horse
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Gotta love these old school gelded sprinters.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Comma is one of the most likeable horses out here on the Cali circuit. Pushed into the Kentucky Derby, something Miller was intellectually dubious of doing(but sometimes heart wins out over head with the Derby), Comma has been really well handled by Miller since. He has placed him perfectly, feasting on listed and grade 3 stakes while trying grade 2s and 1s every so often. And Miller has let Comma do what he wants, run often. Comma is a 5 year old with 31 starts already, and his 14 wins and 9 stakes wins reflect that Comma is just not showing up, he's running hard each time. Of course, Comma and Miller got national attention when the trainer brought the horse back a week after running 3rd in Cali in the San Carlos to win the gr.3 Tom Fool in New York. That effort hasn't had any long-term effects because Comma has already run 3 times since, winning twice. If you need more reasons to like Comma, he's won graded stakes on dirt, turf, and synth. Of those dirt graded stakes he won one in Cali and the other in New York. Of the synth stakes wins, he's won at Hollywood and Del Mar. He's won graded stakes from 6 furlongs to 8.5 furlongs, around one and two turns. And while Comma's record shows that he's been in the money only 4 other times outside of those 14 wins, an in -the- money tab of 18 for 31, he's run 4th on 8 occassions. Meaning, he's hit the board in 26 of 31.
Dick More than 1 year ago
Where they scared of the Comma, fastest horse since Chinook Pass!!
Dick More than 1 year ago
why did they scratch the Bullet???
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I read he is sick. Its funny I bet Comma To The Top three weeks ago facing Italian Rules. Basically a $62,500 claiming field and he went off at 2-1. Today in a stakes race he goes 4-5. Great win, but I think there is a new sprinter in town that has to be respected. Points Off The Bench looked like a beast today in race 3 at Hollywood Park.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Comma ran about 3 lengths faster than Points. Points would have had trouble hanging with Comma through a blazing 5th eighth.
matt More than 1 year ago
Just curious, did you watch the Points race? He may have run 3 lengths slower, but time only counts in jail. He wasn't even asked until inside the 1/16th pole.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I saw both races on track. Just saying chasing Comma through the first 5 furlongs would be a much more taxing proposition.
Jim Tully More than 1 year ago
They both will be staring at Let Em Shine's backside come BC Sprint