05/16/2008 11:00PM

Will Rogers: Polonius holds on


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It's safe to say that Polonius has found a home on turf. Saturday at Hollywood Park, Polonius won his second stakes on grass, and first graded stakes, in the $106,800 Will Rogers Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Ridden by Jon Court, Polonius led throughout, holding off a late run from Indian Sun to win the Grade 3 race over a mile by a half-length. Polonius ($5.40) was timed in 1:34.95.

"Our horse had never had to work so hard," said trainer Mike Pender, who won his first graded stakes in the Will Rogers.

Polonius set a decent pace of 23.73 and 47.51 seconds, holding at least a length lead over Tiz West on the backstretch. Tiz West was a threat to the final turn when he jumped shadows twice, leaving Polonius in front by 1 1/2 lengths. Indian Sun, fourth early, finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Ez Dreamer in the field of five.

Corey Nakatani, who rode Ez Dreamer, claimed foul against the winner for interference, but the charge was disallowed.

Polonius has won 3 of 5 starts and $143,100. Owned by B.J. Wright, Polonius won the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita in March, but was ninth in the Santa Anita Derby last month, his only start on a synthetic surface.

Desert Stormer: 'Kitty' prevails

Ashley's Kitty, making her first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes last December, wore down pacesetter Overly Tempting to win Saturday's $81,300 Desert Stormer Handicap.

Ashley's Kitty was fourth on the backstretch, well behind Overly Tempting, who set a quick pace of 21.51 and 43.99 seconds. Jockey Joe Talamo moved Ashley's Kitty closer to the leaders on the turn and needed the entire stretch to catch Overly Tempting, winning by a half-length. Ashley's Kitty ($9.80) ran six furlongs in 1:09.01.

Fleetheart finished third in the field of six fillies and mares that was reduced by one when Silky Smooth was scratched after flipping in the paddock, according to track stewards. Dearest Trickski, the 3-5 favorite and winner of the La Brea Stakes and Santa Monica Handicap last winter, finished fourth.

Ashley's Kitty has won 5 of 11 starts and $237,038 for Oak West Farm and trainer Ted H. West.