12/18/2011 8:21PM

Hollywood Park: Mensa Heat proves he's healthy by taking On Trust

Benoit & Associates
Mensa Heat, bothered by ulcers during the fall, regains his form under Joe Talamo in the On Trust Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Recovered from an October bout with ulcers, Mensa Heat won his second stakes of 2011 in Sunday’s $84,500 On Trust Handicap for statebreds at Hollywood Park.

The On Trust was the closing-day feature of the Hollywood Park autumn meeting.

From the time he left the paddock for the On Trust, trainer Ted H. West had confident that Mensa Heat would display a top effort, and that the recent ailments were no longer an issue for the 5-year-old gelding.

“The horse tipped his hand in the paddock,” West said. “He was really good.

“You didn’t know how fast they healed,” West said of the ulcers. “You wonder if they were there, but he answered the question.”

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Mensa Heat ($7.40) won for the sixth time in 2011 in the On Trust. He was fifth and then fourth on the backstretch, stalking a quick pace of 22.63 and 45.56 seconds set by Mark the Bench and Chiloquin.

Talamo moved Mensa Heat closer to the leaders with a three-wide move on the turn. Legal Separation, the 18-1 longest shot in the field, was third on the backstretch and took the lead with a furlong remaining, but could not hold off Mensa Heat. The final time for 7 1/2 furlongs was 1:28.68.

Legal Separation held second, finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind Mensa Heat, and a half-length in front of third-place finisher Spud Spivens, who closed from last in the field of seven. Red Defense, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth on the backstretch but faded to finish last.

The On Trust was Mensa Heat’s first start since a seventh as the 3-2 favorite in the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 29. The ulcers were detected after that. He won the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar in September and was third behind eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Amazombie in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes in early October.

Mensa Heat has won 9 of 41 starts and $418,750. He was claimed by West and owner Peter Redekop for $25,000 in April and has since won 4 of 8 starts and $258,622.