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River Bay Wins Whittingham Handicap

June 1, 1999

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) _ River Bay, who finished second in the Memorial Day feature at Hollywood Park last year, moved up a notch Monday and became a millionaire in the process.

Trained by Bobby Frankel, River Bay came from well off the pace to take the lead midway through the stretch and won the inaugural Charles Whittingham Handicap by a half-length over Majorien.

Ridden by Alex Solis and carrying high weight of 119 pounds, River Bay covered 1 1/4 miles on turf in 2:00 3-5 and paid $13.40, $5.40 and $3.80.

The win in the $400,000 race snapped a five-race losing streak for River Bay and was the eighth win in 19 lifetime starts for the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Irish River.

It was worth $240,000, raising River Bay’s career earnings to $1,117,490.

River Bay finished behind Storm Trooper last year when the Grade I race was known as the Hollywood Turf Handicap. It was renamed for the Hall of Fame trainer who died of leukemia April 20 _ one week after his 86th birthday. Whittingham-trained horses won the event seven times.

River Bay hadn’t won since last July 19, when he captured the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park in his first start following the Turf Handicap.

In addition, he had finished out of the money in his last three starts _ most recently on Feb. 15 when he finished fourth in the San Luis Obispo Handicap at Santa Anita.

``Bobby Frankel has just done a great job with this horse, he’s gotten the horse back to being himself,″ Solis said.

``He just wasn’t right when I ran him at Santa Anita,″ Frankel said. ``He ran really well today. I think he just likes this race track. He’s run four times on it now, he’s won three, and he finished second.

``When he acts like a bad boy, he usually runs his best race. And he was acting bad today.″

Majorien, ridden by Kent Desormeaux and carrying 117 pounds, crossed the finish line a neck in front of Alvo Certo and returned $3.20 and $2.60.

Alvo Certo, ridden by G.F. Almeida and carrying 115 pounds, was two lengths ahead of Astarabad at the wire and paid $3.40 to show.

Following Astarabad across the finish line in the 31st running of the race for 3-year-olds and up were Magellan, Shelter Cove, Star Performance, Ward Hunt and Special Quest.

In the $208,400 Milady Breeders’ Cup Handicap on Monday, Gourmet Girl took the lead entering the final turn in beating 11-1 longshot Yolo Lady by two lengths. Even-money favorite Victory Stripes finished third in the field of five.

Ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye and carrying 115 pounds, Gourmet Girl covered 1 1-16 miles in 1:40 4-5 and paid $11.20, $6 and $2.40.

The win was the sixth in 15 lifetime starts for Gourmet Girl and was worth $112,440, raising the career earnings of the 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Cee’s Tizzy to $484,808.

Gourmet Girl provided trainer A. Pico Perdomo with his first stakes victory since Stalwart Charger won the 1990 Affirmed Handicap, and just his third overall.

Yolo Lady, ridden by Solis and carrying 115 pounds, crossed the finish line 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Victory Stripes and returned $9 and $2.40.

Victory Stripes, ridden by Chris McCarron and carrying 117 pounds, was four lengths ahead of Keeper Hill at the wire and paid $2.10 to show.

A Lady From Dixie finished last in the 48th running of the Grade I race for fillies and mares. Bountiful Dreamer, Bella Chiarra and Cris The Swimmer were scratched.

Earlier Monday, Love That Red beat 2-5 favorite Apremont by three lengths in the $85,828 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes _ also named for a Hall of Fame trainer.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez and carrying 122 pounds, Love That Red covered seven furlongs in 1:20 4-5 and paid $8.80 and $2.60. Because only four horses competed in the race for 3-year-olds, there was no show betting.

The win was the fourth in eight lifetime starts for Love That Red and was worth $56,910, raising the career earnings of the Leonard Duncan-trained gelding to $221,049.

Delahoussaye was aboard four winners on Monday’s 10-race card.

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