England's Perrault, the 7-to-10 favorite, scored his richest American victory by winning the 43rd running of the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup by a length over Erins Isle at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., yesterday.

The victory also boosted Perrault's stature as a contender for horse of the year honors as the 5-year-old carried top weight of 127 pounds over 1 1/4 miles in 1:59 1/5.

At the finish he held off a closing challenge of Erins Isle, while It's The One finished third and Mehmet fourth in the field of eight.

Laffit Pincay Jr. kept Perrault in fourth position until the field moved into the final turn where he moved up quickly to challenge Mehmet for the lead and took the lead turning into the stretch.

Perrault has won eight of 22 lifetime starts and $867,462. Perrault paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10. Erins Isle, coupled with To-Agori-Mou, paid $3.00 and $2.20. It's The One paid $2.20.

The victory increased the standings of both Pincay and trainer Charles Whittingham in the battle for national honors. The winner's purse of $275,000 kept Pincay in the lead as the top money-winning jockey in the nation and boosted the earnings of horses saddled by Whittingham to more than $2 million.

Perrault is owned by Baron de Zuylen and Serge Fradkoff of Geneva. The winner was bred in England and is a son of Djakao.

Earlier in the day, Whittingham saddled Castilla to win the $106,400 Honeymoon Handicap.