06/26/2011 7:35PM

Hollywood Park: Malibu Pier takes advantage of perfect trip in Beverly Hills

Benoit & Associates
Malibu Pier and Brice Blanc return after winning the Grade 3 Beverly Hills at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In an otherwise messy race, Malibu Pier had a perfect trip under Brice Blanc and won Sunday’s $100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Malibu Pier ($4.80) stalked pacesetter Restless Soul for the first mile of the race, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf. She took the lead in the stretch and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Cozi Rosie, who stumbled badly in the first furlong.

Cozi Rosie, the 4-5 favorite, was last of four fillies and mares for the first mile after she clipped heels with Restless Soul, the pacesetter, who drifted to the inside shortly after the start. Cozi Rosie closed well through the stretch to finish a nose in front of Restless Soul, who finished third. Timezone was fourth. There was no inquiry into the incident at the start.

While watching the incident between Cozi Rosie and Restless Soul on a replay, Carla Gaines, who trains Malibu Pier, said she felt fortunate. “It’s a weird situation,” she said. “You feel bad for the team, but it’s like, How many times has it happened to you?”

The race had six entrants, but Streamline Baby was scratched on race morning, and First Settler was scratched after she unseated jockey Tyler Baze during warm-ups and ran loose on the backstretch.

Malibu Pier was timed in 2:01.01, and won her third graded stakes of 2011 in the Grade 3 Beverly Hills. At Santa Anita earlier this year, she won two Grade 2 races – the Santa Ana Stakes and Santa Barbara Handicap.

Owned by B. Wayne Hughes, Malibu Pier was fifth in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on May 30, her first start at the Hollywood spring-summer meeting. A 4-year-old filly by Malibu Moon, Malibu Pier has won 6 of 11 starts and $407,200.