05/14/2013 2:56PM

Hollywood Park: Dhaamer on familiar path

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Benoit & Associates
Dhaamer won the Sunset Handicap in 2012, but was second in the Del Mar Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Dhaamer, who defended his title in Sunday’s minor Round Table Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, will have a very familiar schedule this summer.

Trainer Mike Mitchell is aiming the 6-year-old gelding to the same two races in which he started in 2012 – the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park in July and the Del Mar Handicap in late August.

Dhaamer won the Sunset Handicap in 2012, but was second in the Del Mar Handicap, which turned out to be his final start last year.

In Sunday’s Round Table over 1 1/2 miles on turf, Dhaamer had an ideal trip under Gomez and won by 2 1/4 lengths as the 3-5 favorite. It was a rebound from his first start of 2013, when he finished sixth in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup over 1 1/2 miles on the main track at Santa Anita on March 23.

“I thought he laid up too close and didn’t finish,” Mitchell said of the Tokyo City. But the same tactics worked in the Round Table when Dhaamer stalked pacesetter Diamondsdiplomat.

“He is really sharp right now,” Mitchell said. “He’s not a big horse, but he reaches out and covers a lot of ground.”

Owned by Edward Brown Jr. and Jay Manoogian, Dhaamer, an Irish-bred by Dubai Destination, has won 6 of 17 starts and $258,682.