Spectacular Bid, carrying the most weight of his career and closing in on the all-time money-winning record for a thoroughbred, raced to his fifth straight today, captured the $210,400 Mervyn Leroy Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Carrying 132 pounds, Spectacular Bid delayed his move until the turn for home, where he battled Beau's Eagle for the lead and then quickly drew out to win by seven lengths as Peregrinator closed from far back for second in the field of six.
Making his first start since March 2, Spectacular Bid raced the 1 1/16 miles in the swift time of 1:40 2-5.
Jockey Bill Shoemaker brought Spectacular Bid out of the gate last as Replant and Life's Hope took the early lead followed by Beau's Eagle. It was not until the field moved down the backstretch that Shoemaker began his move and hooked up with Beau's Eagle on the final turn. When Shoemaker called on his mount for speed, the race was over.
Flying Paster was fourth and it was the seventh time the California-bred colt was beaten by Spectaculr Bid, dating to last year's Kentucky Derby.
The victory was worth $120,400 to the Hawksworth Farm of Harry Meyerhoff of Baltimore. It increased Spectacular Bid's career earnings to $2,208,818 and left the colt $184,000 behind the all-time record of $2,393,818 set by Affirmed, who was retired last year. The win increased Spectacular Bid's earnings in 1980 to $546,000.
It was another day of records for Shoemaker, who notched his 7,841st victory, his 796th stakes win and 115th win in a race worth $100,000 or more.