Boat Trip may have captured the final running of the $99,998 Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park, but the real story was the triple dead-heat for second between No Silent, Chips All In and Unbridled's Note.
It was only the third triple dead-heat in Hollywood Park's 75-year history. The other two were for first when Challenger Tom, Joe's Pleasure and Leaful finished on even terms in a $5,000 claiming race July 3, 1957 and then more than 40 years later the photo-finish camera couldn't separate Chans Pearl, Cool Miss Ann and Tina Celesta in an $8,000 claimer for fillies and mares on December 7, 1997.
No Silent, Chips All In and Unbridled's Note hooked up at the beginning of the six-furlong Hollywood Turf Express and battled it out for the remainder of the race. Jockey Joe Talamo allowed Boat Trip to settle in the rear of the field along with Jonny's Choice, who had broken on top before being wrangled back by Edwin Maldonado. Meanwhile up front Chips All In set the opening splits in :22 3/5 and :44 3/5 while sandwiched between No Silent on the rail and even-money favorite Unbridled's Note to his outside.
The trio ran in tandem rounding the turn and continued their battle royale into the lane. Meanwhile, Talamo swung Boat Trip off the inside and sent the Harlan's Holiday four-year-old chasing after the tenacious triumvirate. Boat Trip managed to run his rivals down, hitting the wire a half-length in front of what turned out to be an inseparable force of No Silent, Chips All In and Unbridled's Note in second.
Sent off the 7-2 fourth pick in the five-horse field, Boat Trip paid $9.60 while stopping the clock in 1:08 2/5 over the firm green in what will be the final running of the Hollywood Turf Express at its namesake track. Jonny's Choice brought up the rear, 2 1/4 lengths adrift of the dead-heating threesome.
"It set up real well for him. My horse is real classy and did everything right," Talamo praised his mount. "We kind of saved ground around the turn and when I took them on, he knew what to do. He got over the course great and has a real nice turn of foot."
Boat Trip now boasts two stakes wins on his resume, which stands at 15-5-6-1, $253,196. The Mike Pender trainee's previous stakes score came in last year's one-mile Tsunami Slew on the Hollywood green and he followed up by concluding his sophomore season next out when fifth in the Oceanside on Del Mar's 2012 opening day card.
"He's going to be sad to see (Hollywood Park) go, that's for sure. He just likes the layout, there's no question about it," sighed Pender, referencing the eminent shutdown of the track at the conclusion of the current meet.
Boat Trip didn't return to competition until May, finishing third in an allowance at Hollywood, then posted a neck victory under those same conditions one month later. He has since just missed by a half-length when fourth in the Green Flash Handicap, posted a nose second in the Grade 3 Eddie D. and finished 12th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Bred in Kentucky by Galleria Bloodstock & Samac, Boat Trip is campaigned by James Hirschmann III and B. J. Wright. He didn't meet his reserve when only attracting a final bid of $27,000 during the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, but sold for $100,000 as an OBS March two-year-old in training the next spring.
Boat Trip is out of the Group 3-winning Seeking the Gold mare Turning Wheel, making him a half-brother to Group 3-placed Rallying Cry as well as stakes/listed-placed winners Carinae, Imago Mundi and Atlantic Swing. Turning Wheel is herself a half-sibling to Group 1-placed listed scorer Minds Music, two-time Group 1-placed Ajfan and dual listed victor Space Cruiser.
Others of note in this female family include Grade 1-placed multiple stakes winner and top sire Clever Trick; Grade 1 victor and successful stallion Alydeed; and multiple Grade 3 heroines Pachattack and Eye of Taurus.