Updated on 09/15/2011 2:35PM

Momentum triumphs in Native Diver


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Momentum's graded stakes debut was worth the wait.

After being scratched from the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in late November and the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup in early December, Momentum won the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap* (click here for chart) at Hollywood Park on Sunday, his first start on dirt.

The $100,000 race was marred by a fatal injury suffered by Penamacor, the winner of the Chilean Derby and 2000 Guineas last year.

A 4-year-old, Penamacor finished last and was pulled up on the clubhouse turn. He was diagnosed with sesamoid injuries to his right hind leg and was euthanized, according to California Horse Racing Board veterinarian B. William Bell.

Momentum ($11.80) was acquired privately from England earlier this fall and took to the main track well. He won by a length over Euchre, the even-money favorite, and ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:48.24.

The victory was Momentum's first for owner Paul Reddam and trainer Craig Dollase. A 3-year-old, Momentum won the Strensall Stakes at York, England, in September on turf, and was second on that surface in the minor Bien Bien Stakes at Hollywood Park last month.

Dollase said Momentum has seen the last of turf for the time being, and will be pointed for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes for 4-year-olds on Jan. 12.

"We wanted to see how he handled the dirt," Dollase said. "He trained like he would, but you don't know until you try it. It wasn't a stellar field, but I'll take it."

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Momentum was wide for much of the race. Madraar set the pace, but was closely followed by Euchre and Momentum. Nakatani had Momentum three-wide on the final turn when he engaged the leaders.

Momentum, who carried 117 pounds, took command in early stretch and was extended to beat Euchre, the 121-pound highweight. Last Parade finished third, followed by Grey Memo, Pie n Burger, Madraar and Penamacor.

Reddam nearly missed the race. He arrived at Los Angeles Airport from Mexico via private plane moments before the race and arrived to the track in time to watch the second half of the race on a monitor near the front gate.

Native Diver Handicap Chart*

* Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.