12/22/2008 12:00AM

Vacare wins career finale in Dahlia


INGLEWOOD, Calif.-Vacare gave trainer Christophe Clement the 1,000th winner of his career in Sunday's $150,000 Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park. This victory was one he was allowed to keep.

Clement thought he had scored his 1,000th win at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday with La Hernanda, but the horse was disqualified for causing interference.

Vacare made no such mistakes. Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Vacare ($3.60) rallied from fourth in the final quarter-mile to catch Gotta Have Her in the final sixteenth and win by a length.

In My Glory, who set the early pace, held third in the field of eight fillies and mares.

Vacare ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:43.13. Valdivia had Vacare in fourth for the first six furlongs, racing on the rail behind In My Glory, who set a slow pace of 24.84 and 50.06 seconds.

"I knew she would be there for me when I called on her," Valdivia said. "Those two in front never quit running. My filly just ran them down and she really had to pick up the tempo to do it."

The Grade 2 Dahlia was the final career start for Vacare, a 5-year-old mare who won 8 of 14 starts and $1,213,706. The Dahlia was her second stakes win of the year. She finished a half-length in front of Gotta Have Her to win the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap at Del Mar in August.