05/25/2013 5:50PM

Hollywood Park: Obviously runs off to American Handicap victory

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Benoit & Associates
Obviously, with Joe Talamo riding, wins the American Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Left alone on the lead, Obviously proved impossible to catch in Saturday’s $150,250 American Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last fall, Obviously won in such fashion on Saturday that jockey Joe Talamo and trainer Mike Mitchell were dreaming of getting back to the same race this fall.

Obviously ($2.80) led by 1 1/2 lengths on the backstretch, through early fractions of 23.26 and 46.09 seconds, and pulled away in early stretch, winning by 2 1/2 lengths.

Lucayan, the winner of the French 2000 Guineas in 2012, finished second in his American debut, a neck in front of Barocci in a field of six.

Obviously ran a mile in 1:32.95 for his first stakes win since the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita last October.

“The main goal is to get him to the Breeders’ Cup,” Talamo said. “If he runs like that, I think he can.”

Talamo said he was confident that Obviously could carry his speed after he had an uncontested lead in the first half-mile and built an advantage of 3 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining.
“I was so glad to see him go in 46,” he said. “He does it so easily.”

Mitchell said he was surprised that Obviously did not face an early challenge, but said that any rival who may have done so would not have been able to keep up.

“He’s so fast, this horse,” Mitchell said. “He’s got sprinter’s speed.”

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

Lucayan started for the first time since finishing last of eight in the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein in France last October. Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Lucayan was last for the first half-mile and closed steadily to finish second.

Trainer Neil Drysdale said he was encouraged by the result, but praised Obviously.

“We could have some fun with him in the U.S.,” Drysdale said of Lucayan. “The winner will be very difficult to beat at a mile.”