07/15/2012 5:37PM

Hollywood Park: Dhaamer gives Mitchell, Leparoux more to celebrate in Sunset Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Dhaamer, under Julien Leparoux, wins the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap on closing day at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Dhaamer gave trainer Mike Mitchell and jockey Julien Leparoux a poignant victory in the $98,000 Sunset Handicap on Sunday, the closing day of the spring-summer meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Sent off as a heavy favorite, Dhaamer had a perfect trip, stalking his three rivals to early stretch before rallying wide to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Romp. Quaintly, who set the pace, finished third, followed by Juniper Pass.

Only four started after the scratch of Renegade Storm.

Sunday was Mitchell’s first day at the races since undergoing surgery for a brain tumor June 29.  Leparoux turned 29 on Sunday and is engaged to Mitchell’s daughter, Shea.

Dhaamer ($2.80) won his second stakes of the spring-summer meeting in the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap. He won the minor Round Table Stakes in May.

In the Sunset, Leparoux kept Dhaamer at the back of the field for the first mile, chasing Quaintly, who set a slow pace of 26.46 and 51.88 seconds. Dhaamer was three wide on the final turn and was hand-ridden to wire. He finished 1 1/2 miles on turf in 2:29.13.

“Julien has such great hands,” Mitchell said. “Long before he met my daughter, I was using him on our horses.”

Leparoux is riding in California for Wednesday’s opening day of the Del Mar meeting before moving to Saratoga later in the week.

Dhaamer, a 5-year-old Irish-bred gelding by Dubai Destination, races for Edward Brown Jr. and Jay Manoogian. Imported to this country over the winter, Dhaamer has won 5 of 14 starts and $174,272.

Mtichell said that Dhaamer will have one start at Del Mar, with the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 as a long-term goal.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dhaamer was also a close 2nd in Santa Anita's Tokyo City Cup so he likes the S.A. dirt. Major player in Marathon obviously.
Greg Scherr More than 1 year ago
There's not enough horse inventory here that's why so many others are leaving, 5-7 horse fields here 10-12 horse fields in NY and KY
Gee More than 1 year ago
Calif used to be great 5 yrs ago not any more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
they still have some very good horses out there though. I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Game On Dude, Zenyatta, Acclamation. Just not as many. That Gold Cup field was a joke.
specialist2395 More than 1 year ago
I cant see why Leparoux just doesn't stay out West. He is treading water in New York. Im thinking he will be out there soon enough..
michaela96@gmail.com Angelini More than 1 year ago
Or Leparoux should bring it back to ky where he belongs. He has won the riding meet at Churchill and Keenland the last 3 years and has made a great living at it. Only getting 3-4 mounts a day if that is nowhere close to what that true talent deserves.