Updated on 09/17/2011 1:09PM

Hollywood Story upsets Starlet


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Hollywood Story had a Hollywood ending after all.

The 2-year-old filly, already graded stakes-placed but still a maiden after four starts, broke through for her first victory at an opportune time on Sunday when she captured the Grade 1, $349,500 before 8,832 at Hollywood Park.

The victory was sweet vindication for owner George Krikorian, who convinced trainer John Shirreffs to stay the course and run in a Grade 1 race rather than a far easier maiden race. But Krikorian, Shirreffs, and jockey Patrick Valenzuela could not enjoy the victory in full until a stewards?s inquiry was completed, and which let the result stand.

At issue was whether Hollywood Story sufficiently interfered with House of Fortune at the top of the stretch. Alex Solis, the jockey on House of Fortune, was forced to stand in his irons when Valenzuela and Hollywood Story appeared to shave him off at the top of the lane. But Hollywood Story was rolling past House of Fortune at the time of the incident, and the stewards rightly ruled it had no effect in the race?s outcome. Whether Valenzuela is subsequently deserving of a careless-riding suspension is another matter.

Hollywood Story ($14.60) crossed the wire 2 3/4 lengths in front of Rahy Dolly, who set all the pace before being overhauled in the final furlong. House of Fortune was another 4 1/2 lengths back in third.

Victory U.S.A., the 4-5 favorite, was four lengths farther back in fourth. Rings and Things and Dixie High completed the order of finish.

Hollywood Story completed 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:42.87. The rangy daughter of Wild Rush trailed the six-horse field for the first half-mile, but the sharp pace set by Rahy Dolly, and early moves made by several rivals, aided her cause.

Hollywood Story began to close sharply on the final turn. She had dead aim on Rahy Dolly when House of Fortune, just to her inside, was bothered.

?I have no comment on the stewards?s inquiry,? said a disappointed Solis.

Hollywood Story was second in her debut at Del Mar to Victory U.S.A. She then was second in the Del Mar Debutante, third in the Oak Leaf Stakes, and fourth in the Breeders? Cup Juvenile Fillies, all of which were won by divisional leader Halfbridled.