05/26/2013 4:57PM

Hollywood Park notes: Obviously has Breeders' Cup Mile as long-term goal

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Benoit & Associates
Obviously and jockey Joe Talamo win the Grade 2 American Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Obviously finished third behind 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last fall, losing by two lengths. Mike Mitchell, who trains Obviously, wants a rematch.

After watching Obviously win his first stakes of 2013 in Saturday’s $150,250 American Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park, Mitchell said the BC Mile is a long-term goal.

“We’ll take our time with him and aim for the Breeders’ Cup again,” he said.

Obviously won his third Grade 2 race in the last year in the American Handicap, leading throughout as the 2-5 favorite to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Lucayan. The American Handicap was the U.S. debut for Lucayan, who won the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp Racecourse in May 2012.
The result sets up a rematch in the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile on turf June 29.

Mitchell does not have an extensive summer and fall campaign planned for Obviously, who races for Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino. Aside from the Shoemaker Mile, Obviously will be considered for the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf Aug. 25, a race he won in 2012. Obviously later won the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita’s fall meeting before losing to Wise Dan.

While Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom ran past Obviously in the stretch of the BC Mile, there was no such threat Saturday. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Obviously never was threatened.

“He’s a good horse,” Mitchell said. “He does things like this so easily.”

Last year’s BC Mile has turned out to be an outstanding race. Wise Dan is unbeaten in two starts this year, both Grade 1 races – the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland in April and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 4. Animal Kingdom won the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30.

The American was Obviously’s third stakes win. The 5-year-old gelding by Choisir has won 7 of 14 starts and $668,361.

Willyconker claimed out of win

Willyconker, the winner of the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in March 2012, was claimed by trainer Eric Guillot for $62,500 after a win in an optional claimer Saturday.

Guillot plans to take Willyconker to Saratoga this summer.

“I’d like to run him in an overnight stakes or an open allowance,” he said.

A 6-year-old gelding, Willyconker has won 9 of 29 starts and $461,720. He ran in claiming races before his win in the 2012 Kilroe Mile, his only stakes win.

prose More than 1 year ago
Mike, what dreamworld are you living in? The CHRB offer retirement payouts to help get rid of cheap claimers? There aren't enough horses to begin with to even fill race cards during the week. Hollywood Park is closing, as did Bay Meadows. The California racing industry is in dire need of horses. It has too few and now, amazingly, it doesn't even have the stall space to house the few it does have. Pathetic.
Mike B More than 1 year ago
Steve Anderson tweets: Daylight Storm, vanned off in Sunday's 4th, and the subject of a voided $8,000 claim, was euthanized (sesamoids), stewards said. #hollywood Today at 2:52 PM Looks like the voided claim rule is working precisely as it was supposed to here. Like to see a longer article soon about the CA voided claims. The BHP ones make the news, but Los Alamitos has more that are off the radar and not heard much about GG. Overall, it seems to be properly allocating the risks and reducing incentives to race unsound horses. Not foolproof but I imagine some trainers and owners are thinking twice about racing an unsound horse to move them. Ultimately, more incentives and options for aftercare may also be needed. Could CHRB offer a payment (maybe just 10% of the average the last 3 claiming prices or flat 1K plus shipping) in lieu of a final race to incentivize owners to try after care rather than a final race?