05/28/2012 7:33PM

Hollywood Park: Roman Threat wires field in Los Angeles Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Rafael Bejarano guides heavy favorite Roman Threat to a 1 3/4-length score in the Los Angeles Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Roman Threat won his first stakes in Monday’s $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park, leaving jockey Rafael Bejarano to question how much the promising sprinter can accomplish in coming months.

The Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap was a milestone win for trainer Bob Baffert, his 84th at Hollywood Park. Baffert is tied with fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas on the all-time list. The late Charles Whittingham won 222 stakes.

Roman Threat ($3.80) took the lead in the first furlong and was never threatened, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Centralinteligence. Roman Threat ran six furlongs in 1:08.57.

“He dragged me to the lead,” Bejarano said. “I thought I’d get pressure  from the outside. At the three-eighths pole, I had a lot of horse. When we got to the stretch, I let him go. I didn’t have to use the whip.

“He did it on his own.”

Roman Threat set early fractions of 22.35 and 44.81 seconds.

Centralinteligence, within a length in early stretch, finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Camp Victory in the field of seven. Rail Trip, the winner of the 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup, finished fourth in his first start since November. Dancing in Silks, the winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, finished last, and was not urged in the final furlong.

Roman Threat races for breeders Hal and Patti Earnhardt. A 4-year-old gelding by Roman Ruler, Roman Threat has won 2 of 3 starts and $123,600. He was second to 2011 champion sprinter Amazombie in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes at Santa Anita on April 7.

There is a possibility they could meet again in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap over seven furlongs on June 30.