Jeranimo beat War Element by 23/4 lengths in the $250,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Saturday, in a victory overshadowed by injuries and the deaths of two horses.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, heavy favorite Jeranimo was sixth in the field of nine in the early going and was still fifth at the top of the stretch, but charged home under Gomez’s whip, covering 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:40.87.
"He settled in beautiful and it was just a matter of finding somewhere to go," Gomez said. "When I showed him somewhere to go he put it all together."
Jeranimo, coming off a seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile three weeks ago, paid $5.40, $3 and $2.80. War Element earned $3.80 and $3.20, and Calimonco returned $5.40 to show.
A 5-year-old Florida-bred son of Congaree trained by Mike Pender for owner B.J. Wright, Jeranimo is 2 for 7 in 2011 and has won seven of 24 overall. He earned $150,000 for Saturday’s victory, taking his career total to $810,400.
Bob Black Jack, making his second start after a 20-month layoff and running for the first time on turf, weakened in the stretch, did not finish and had to be vanned off with a front left leg injury.
Earlier in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes won by Pacific Ocean, runner-up Irrefutable collapsed and died just after he was unsaddled. Hollywood Park officials said the 5-year-old, one of three horses in the race for trainer Bob Baffert, most likely had a heart attack. He had a career record of four wins in 13 starts.
In the fourth race, the 5-year-old favorite Waltzing With Blue was euthanized after injuring his left front leg.
Jockey Daniel Vergara was thrown to the turf when the horse was injured and was briefly hospitalized. He was released with bruises to his hip and leg.