06/09/2013 5:11PM

Hollywood Park: Tale of a Champion to keep going long

Benoit & Associates
Tale of a Champion got his first graded stakes win in Saturday's Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – At 5, Tale of a Champion has a new career.

His win in Saturday’s $200,250 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park confirmed trainer Kristin Mulhall’s opinion that longer races should be the focus for Tale of a Champion for the rest of 2013.

“He just wants to go a distance,” Mulhall said Sunday. “When you gallop him, he’ll run off for two miles, and you still can’t pull him up. He’ll work in 1:01, and he’ll gallop-out a mile in 1:40 with you trying to pull him up. He’s got a lot of blood in him.”

Owned by Rustin and Juliana Kretz, Tale of a Champion won his first graded stakes in the Grade 2 Whittingham. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Tale of a Champion (10-1) was third for the first mile, took the lead in early stretch, and won by a length over 6-5 favorite All Squared Away in the field of six.

Tale of a Champion was acquired last summer and sent to Mulhall from Florida. In his final start at Calder, Tale of a Champion won the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint over five furlongs on turf. He raced at distances ranging from about 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles on turf in his first eight starts in California, with his only win coming in the March Madness Starter Handicap over 1 1/8 miles for former claimers at Santa Anita.

Tale of a Champion won a $25,000 claiming race for maidens in his career debut at Gulfstream Park in April 2012. By Tale of the Cat, Tale of a Champion has won 6 of 14 starts and $239,708.

Mulhall said Tale of a Champion’s win has prompted discussion about his next start, with the $100,000 Sunset Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf here July 14 and the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 20 as immediate options.

“I will look at both,” Mulhall said. “I would be leaning toward the Eddie Read.”

One winning pick-six ticket

There was one winning ticket in Saturday’s pick six, worth $243,476.

Track officials said the ticket was purchased for $540 through Twinspires.com. The winning ticket went into the last race with two live runners – race winner Sinfullly ($6.60) and Fernando Suancini, who finished seventh.

The other winners of Saturday’s pick-six races were Sebastian Flyte ($15.80), Declassify ($2.80), Kinz Funky Monkey ($33.20), Billy Win ($20), and Sarach ($18).