March 4, 2024

Hollywood Turf Cup

Last updated: 12/4/04 8:55 PM


Gary Tanaka’s PELLEGRINO (Brz) (Nugget Point [Ire]) slipped through on the
rail in midstretch and gamely prevailed by a head to win Saturday’s $250,000
Hollywood Turf Cup (G1). Sent off at 10-1 under Gary Stevens, the Donald
Burke-trained five-year-old outfinished runner-up Megahertz (GB) (Pivotal), who
was in turn a head better than the fast-closing License to Run (Brz) (Exile
King). Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner and even-money favorite Better Talk Now (Talkin
Man) offered a bid on the far turn but retreated to sixth through the stretch
drive.

The winner was content to rate near the back of the pack through early
fractions of :25 3/5, :50 2/5 and 1:15 3/5 set by pacesetter Balestrini (Ire) (Danehill),
and he was still sixth after 10 furlongs in 2:04. Stevens guided the dark bay
through a small seam on the inside and caught Megahertz in deep stretch, and
Pellegrino went on to complete the 1 1/2-mile firm contest in 2:29 3/5. He
returned $22.40, $10 and $6.20 to his supporters.

Megahertz, who was sent off at nearly 5-1 and had to survive a claim of foul
from fourth-place finisher Moscow Burning (Moscow Ballet), gave a fine account
of herself against male rivals and paid $7.20 and $6 while capping the
$74.70 exacta ($1). Brazilian Group 1 winner License to Run closed like a
freight train to reach contention in his U.S. bow and was worth $9.80. He was also
sent off at 10-1. The filly Moscow Burning finished another half-length back in
fourth. The $1 trifecta totaled $843.10 and the $1 superfecta (7-8-4-5) returned a whopping $6,271.60.

Balestrini came next and was followed by Better Talk Now, Hatif (Brz) (Spend
a Buck), Habaneros (Tabasco Cat) and Puerto Banus (Supremo).

Bred in Brazil by Haras Equila, Pellegrino placed in three Group 1 events in
his native country in 2002 and was exiting a close second in the Carleton F.
Burke H. (G3) in late October. He earned his first stakes victory here and improved
his overall mark to 15-4-4-3 with earnings of $276,420. His dam is the multiple
Group 1 winner Vale Mas (Good Bloke), who has also produced Group 1 hero Oh Take
(Brz) (Latin American), Group 2 winner Endoidado (Arg) (Gem Master) and the
Group 1-placed Living Hero, who is a full brother to Saturday’s winner.