INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) - Morning Line led all the way to win the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap by a half-length Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Morning Line ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.42 on the Cushion Track and paid $13.20, $7 and $3.80 at 5-1 odds. The 5-year-old had been idle since finishing last in the Whitney Handicap in August at Saratoga.
Morning Line was running on a synthetic surface for the first time, but he had trained over it for John Shirreffs.
It was Talamo's second stakes win of the day after having missed his first three mounts when he had connection problems flying home from Kentucky after riding at Churchill Downs on Friday.
Talamo earlier won the $72,400 Cool Frenchy Stakes with Flightofalifetime trained by Bob Baffert.
Prayer for Relief returned $8.60 and $5, while Kettle Corn was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $4 to show. Awesome Gem, the 5-2 favorite, was seventh.
Bobina won the $100,000 Senorita in her stakes debut, edging My Gi Gi by a nose.
However, the 3-year-old filly sustained a catastrophic injury to her right front leg after the finish and had to be euthanized. Jockey Victor Espinoza, who recently returned from a broken left hand, wasn't seriously injured, but took off his next two mounts before riding his final four of the day.
``She was running unbelievable, as hard as she could,'' Espinoza said. ``She bobbled a little for one step before the wire and I tried to hold her together. Next thing, I know she just went down. It was just one wrong step. There was no warning.''
Bobina, who was last after the opening four furlongs, completed a mile on the turf in 1:35.18. The win was her third in three starts and increased her earnings to $128,400. She paid $8, $4.60 and $3.40.
My Gi Gi returned $8.80 and $4.60, while Byrama was another length back in third and paid $3 to show. Graser, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth.
In the Cool Frenchy, Flightofalifetime ran five furlongs in 57.22 seconds to win by 1 1/4 lengths. He paid $8.60, $4.60 and $3. Silver Summation returned $13 and $5.60, and Obviously paid $2.60 to show.