12/15/2008 12:00AM

Star Nicholas moves first, takes On Trust


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Star Nicholas was quicker coming off the turn than Partywithlarryz, and that proved the difference on Sunday in the $77,275 On Trust Handicap for California-breds at Hollywood Park.

Star Nicholas ($7.60), under jockey Michael Baze, got the jump on Partywithlarryz a quarter-mile out, then held on to win by a half-length in 1:27.46 for 7 1/2 furlongs on Cushion Track. Star Nicholas then had to withstand a stewards' inquiry into the stretch run; the stewards let the result stand.

"The other horse just got scared," Baze said. "He got intimidated more than anything."

Partywithlarryz, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, finished a half-length in front of Dancing in Silks, who set the early pace but then tired in the final furlong to finish third as the 6-5 favorite.

Bejarano said Partywithlarryz was "really intimidated when that other horse came in."

"He wanted to back out of there and come around," said Bejarano, who won four races Sunday.

Nikki'sgoldensteed and Lit'sgoodlookngray completed the five-horse field. Bamaha Breeze and Unusual Suspect were scratched.

Peter Eurton trains Star Nicholas, 5, a gelding by Poteen. Star Nicholas, bred by Pete Cristofi and Bob Nugent, races for those two men as well as Ron Mostero. He has now won 4 times in 13 starts.