12/01/2013 7:53PM

Hollywood Park: Seek Again wins Hollywood Derby in U.S. debut

Benoit & Associates
Seek Again and jockey Corey Nakatani take the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby by 1 1/2 lengths Sunday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Seek Again was slow to begin his 3-year-old season for trainer John Gosden in England, making his debut with a win in a minor race at Newmarket in August.

Seek Again ended his 2013 campaign in the best way possible Sunday, winning his American debut in the $251,000 Hollywood Derby at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Seek Again ($12.40) saved ground throughout and won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over 3-1 favorite Admiral Kitten. Amen Kitten, a 39-1 outsider, was third in the field of nine.

Nakatani opted to keep Seek Again on the inside going into the turn and was rewarded with clear space through the final three furlongs.

“I needed a spot to run,” Nakatani said. “It was the shortest way home. I was ecstatic about the way he was traveling. The inside opened up like it was meant to be.”

Seek Again ran 1 1/4 miles on turf in 2:00.60. A Kentucky-bred colt by Speightstown, Seek Again was eighth after six furlongs, racing about 4 1/2 lengths behind pacesetter Rookie Sensation, the winner of the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

Seek Again was sixth with a quarter-mile remaining but second to Rookie Sensation at the eighth pole.

“My main thing was to get him in a rhythm,” Nakatani said.

Admiral Kitten, trained by Mike Maker, closed from eighth with a wide run in the final quarter-mile to finish a game second.

“We got a good trip,” said Julien Leparoux, who rode Admiral Kitten. “We were a little wider than the winner.”

Admiral Kitten won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in August and was second in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park in October. Admiral Kitten and Amen Kitten, trained by Wesley Ward, are owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Gervinho, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in July, finished fourth, followed by Rookie Sensation, Jack Milton, Infinite Magic and Dry Summer (who finished in a dead-heat for seventh), and Irish Surf. Dice Flavor was scratched Sunday morning and might start in the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap on the main track Dec. 14, trainer Paddy Gallagher said.

Seek Again races for breeder Juddmonte Farms. The colt has won 4 of 8 starts and earned $219,030.

The Grade 1 Hollywood Derby was Seek Again’s first start in a graded or group race but was not the richest race of his career. Seek Again was fifth of 31 against older horses in the $258,200 Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket on Sept. 28. He won his final start in England, a minor handicap at York on Oct. 12.

Assistant trainer Les Reynolds said Seek Again will be sent to Florida and will join trainer Bill Mott’s stable this winter.

Walter More than 1 year ago
It's too bad SoCal doesn't have any trainers who could handle this horse. When Frankel passed, Juddmonte left SoCal. Recently, I did see a Juddmonte runner listed in the Baffert barn, but the horse scratched. I really hope Juddmonte doesn't send horses to Baffert, he doesn't deserve their type of stock. Mott is a fine choice, we just have to hope he ships west for big races.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
I had an excellent day at Hollywood with two, out of two, exactas paying more than 50-1. My pick for this race was Rookie Sensation, but Espinoza's ride, trying to wire the field with a closer, was a joke. That said, IMO it is highly unlikely that Seek Again, under fair conditions, was anywhere near the form of day to win this race. We have a choice. Blindly admire the Euros for horses that we believe to be far better, or look with greater suspicion on their easy success when a horse is flown over for a race. There were some similar instances at the Breeder's Cup, and I know what my choice is.
John More than 1 year ago
Its odd he comes to California, loves the firm ground, and Santa Anita's extended season opens soon, why not leave him here on the West Coast, maybe Drysdale or Mandella , I bet if Bobby(Frankel) were still alive, it would be a no brainer ! See, people get greedy, GOLDENCENTS, GROUPIE DOLL................up the track ! Just give them a break, they are animals, not machines !
Jordan More than 1 year ago
There are no major races out West any more for older males on the turf. The San Marcos, San Luis Rey and San Juan are grade 2s with the paltry purse of $150k. The Whittingham, run at Hollywood Park, was demoted this year to a grade 2, but at least kept its $250k. The Sunset has been a $100k grade 3 for years now. The only West Coast grade 1 for older male turf horses beyond a mile is the Eddie Read, at 9 furlongs(miler-type Jeranimo won it this year). The Del Mar Cap is a grade 2 for $200k or $250k, the John Henry is a grade 2 for $150k, and the Hollywood Turf Cup, to be run in a few weeks, is a grade 2 for $250k. It's hard to believe, but at one time in their histories, the following turf races for older males carried grade 1 status: San Luis Rey San Juan Capistrano Whittingham Sunset Century John Henry(Oak Tree Turf Championship) Carelton Burke Hollywood Turf Cup
Brian More than 1 year ago
Juddmonte would not hold onto a horse if it did not think had potential to be high class. The biggest thing is that Seek Again was fouled late (April, 2010) and likes firm ground. Also, the Cambridgeshire Handicap is the top race at 9 furlongs in the UK/Ireland. So, running fifth against older horses is a plus.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Plus there were 31 horses in the Cambridgeshire. It puts 5th place in a slightly different light.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
some of their fields are staggering
Wabstat More than 1 year ago
A minor horse across the pond... easy Grade 1 winner here... pathetic.
Perl More than 1 year ago
You may be jumping to conclusions, slightly. Yes, Seek Again had yet to win a big stakes in the UK, but his last race in Europe was a pretty strong figure and pointed to future improvement. It could just be the case of a late developer. But yeah, he sure did blow their doors off!
Glenn Canady More than 1 year ago
wish he stayed on the West Coast.
Frank Raspy More than 1 year ago
BREAKING NEWS: Assistant trainer Les Reynolds said Seek Again will be sent to Florida and will join trainer Bill Mott’s stable this winter.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Moving to Mott... We'll see more of this one.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Europe at 5-1. Wow.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
And a $26 exacta($1) from the Gosden/Juddmonte Euro to a bottom of the exacta machine, Admiral Kitten. The Euro and the best American for easy money.