11/26/2011 8:36PM

Hollywood Park: Jeranimo roars by rivals to win Citation Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Jeranimo flies down the stretch to win the Grade 2 Citation Handicap by 2 3/4 lengths.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Mike Pender trusted his gut with Jeranimo, and Jeranimo rewarded his trainer’s instincts, roaring to a 2 3/4-length victory Saturday at Hollywood Park in the Grade 2, $250,000 Citation Handicap for older turf horses.

With jockey Garrett Gomez aboard, Jeranimo was sixth in the nine-horse field for the first half of the race, and then he displayed a sensational turn of foot to leave his rivals in his wake. He covered the final five-sixteenths of a mile in less than 29 seconds, and the final sixteenth in less than 6 seconds, while completing 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.87.

War Element held on for second by a head over Calimonco, with John Johny Jak fourth.

Bob Black Jack, who set the early pace, took a bad step near the finish line and was pulled up by jockey Joe Talamo while crossing the wire sixth. Bob Black Jack was removed in the track ambulance.

Hollywood Park’s stewards, acting on information provided by the track veterinarians, reported that Bob Black Jack injured the suspensory ligaments in his left front leg and may also have suffered sesamoid damage. Regardless, his racing career is over. Bob Black Jack, 6, won five races, including the 2008 Malibu Stakes. In an eerie coincidence, Saturday’s start was his 13th, as it was for Irrefutable, who collapsed and died after the earlier Underwood.

Jeranimo ($5.40), the favorite, has now won seven times in 24 starts for owner B.J. Wright. He won the Oak Tree Mile on Oct. 8 before finishing seventh of 13 in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“The doubters were worried he was coming back on three weeks’ rest, and I was starting to believe it,” said Pender, who said he trusted his gut that Jeranimo was ready.

“He’s so push button,” Pender said. “Everything seems so easy for him. He came into the race perfect.”