INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Utopian defeated Smug by a head to win the $98,000 Inglewood Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday night.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Utopian ran 1 1-8 miles on the turf in 1:48.73 and paid $6.80 and $5.40.
Smug returned $6, while 3-5 favorite Holladay Road was another 1 1-2 lengths back in third. Haimish Hy was fourth, losing his eighth in a row.
There was no show wagering after the field was reduced to four starters when Eclipse Award winner Acclamation was scratched earlier in the day. He had taken some bad steps after a morning gallop on Thursday.
Scheduled to make his first start since winning the Clement L. Hirsch on Oct. 2 at Santa Anita, Acclamation’s X-rays were negative and he was set to return to the track on Saturday.
Utopian earned his first stakes victory in his fourth try in a graded race. The 5-year-old horse is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs. The victory was his third in 11 career starts with earnings of $183,180.