After taking his show around the country for much of 2010, Awesome Gem (pictured) was finally allowed to run out of his home stable at Hollywood Park and captured the first Grade 1 victory of his career in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.
Thanks to a perfect ground saving trip along the rail from David Flores, Awesome Gem held on by just under a length to defeat odds-on favorite Rail Trip, who got a not so awesome ride from Rafael Bejarano all the way around the track.
Earlier in the day, Martin Pedroza captured his 1,000th career victory at Hollywood Park by saving all the ground aboard E Z’s Gentleman, who proved to be much the best in the Grade 1 $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap.
Trainer Bob Baffert saddled the top two finishers, as Sangaree ran on to finish second for the third straight time.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @mdoche!