11/23/2012 9:33PM

Hollywood Park: Data Link gets perfect trip to win Citation Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Data Link, with Garrett Gomez up, wins the Grade 2 Citation Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Data Link had a perfect trip under red-hot jockey Garrett Gomez to win Saturday’s $250,000 Citation Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park, the ideal finish to an already successful 2012 campaign for the 4-year-old colt.

The second choice in the betting, Data Link ($7) closed from fourth in a field of seven to win by a convincing 2 1/4 lengths over pacesetter, and 2-1 favorite, Ultimate Eagle. Doubles Partner finished third.

Gomez, who had four wins on Friday’s 10-race program, brought Data Link to the outside in early stretch and got a quick response.

“When I said go, he said, how fast?” Gomez joked after the race.

Data Link ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:41. Owned by Stuart Janney III and trained by Shug McGaughey, Data Link won three stakes in 2012 – including the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes in June.

The Grade 2 Citation was Data Link’s first start since a fifth behind Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland in October. Wise Dan won the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita earlier this month.

By War Front, Data Link has won 7 of 15 starts and $673,835. Jennifer Patterson, who assists McGaughey and traveled to California this week, said that Data Link will be based at the Payson Park training center in Florida this winter and will have a wintertime rest before his 2013 campaign.

“He’s a fun horse to be around,” Patterson said.  “I told Garrett to see how the race unfolded – with speed or no speed. He’s got a good turn of foot.”

Jordan More than 1 year ago
I wonder if the success of Eastern horses at the BC played a role in both Data Link and Doubles Partner shipping in for the Citation? The BC clearly showed that in a number of divisions the Cali colony is very shallow, and ripe for an invasion. As a fan of racing in Cali, it's been hard to watch shippers score these repeated successes. But as I am also a fan of racing in general, I am thankful for the opportunity to see, in person, horses like Wise Dan, Little Mike, Fort Larned, Royal Delta, Groupie Doll, Shanghai Bobby, Point of Entry, Trinniberg, Zagora, etc. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching Data Link deliver a sterling effort in the Citation. He won as much the best. With a grade 1 and two grade 2 wins on the year, Data Link put together a nice little campaign and has positioned himself for a strong 2013.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Well said. I really like your whole message.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I've liked this horse and today he pulled off a beautiful ride with GG. Congrats to DataLink, Garrett, Shug and all his connections!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
He is a future Point of Entry...and earned his frollick at Payson