11/13/2010 8:49PM

Unusual Suspect ends long drought in Hollywood Turf Cup

Benoit & Associates
Unusual Suspect, ridden by Corey Nakatani, overtakes pacesetter Temple City just before the wire of the Hollywood Turf Cup.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Unusual Suspect, winless in 13 starts this year and the winner of just one of his last 22 starts, picked the right day to break through on Saturday by wearing down Temple City to score the first Grade 1 victory of his career in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.

 Unusual Suspect ($22.40), under a strong ride by Corey Nakatani, just did get up in the final strides to win by a head in 2:25.83 for 1 1/2 miles on firm turf. Buenos Dias, last in the eight-horse field for the first mile, rallied to be third, three-quarters of a length behind Temple City, who led every step but the final 30 yards.

Treat Gently, the only mare in the field, was fourth, and was followed, in order, by Worth Repeating, Marlang, Big Shot Syd, and 9-5 favorite Where’s the Remote, who was put to a drive three furlongs from the wire but went in reverse.

Barry Abrams trains Unusual Suspect, 6, and owns him along with his wife, Dyan, and his brother, David, who bred the son of Unusual Heat in California. Unusual Suspect was coming off a second-place finish in the California Cup Classic on the main track here during the Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 30. Earlier this year, he was second in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap, second in the Cougar II Handicap, and third in the Sunset Handicap, all graded events at 1 1/2 miles or farther.

Abrams said long distances are the calling card for Unusual Suspect.

That, along with the desire to find a home for Unusual Suspect as a stallion, has made Abrams look a long ways away for the horse’s future.

“Melbourne Cup next year,” said Abrams, who said Unusual Suspect would be sent to race next year in Australia. “He’s ready for two-mile races.

This horse deserves to be a stallion, and there’s no market for stallions like him here.”