Good to be back at the track after a week off! I missed it! It was quite an interesting Saturday, and everybody I spoke with stating it was a bad betting day, except for the folks who won the Pick 6 pool, which was over $30,000. A friend of mine came close to hitting 5 out of the 6 but just missed on the 8th race. Bummer!
To start the day, Candy Promises went off at the even money favorite and came home strong, with Joseph Talamo aboard. St. Reno dueled with rivals on the backstretch but had to settle for second best.
In the 2nd, Dominating Woman was the clear favorite and did not disappoint. Under jockey, Norberto Arroyo Jr., Dominating Woman took the lead in the stretch and won clear over 14 to 1 long shot, Glorious Hour and Tiago Pereira. Kenda, at 6 to 1, and Tyler Baze rounded out the order of finish.
The Sensational Star Stakes, for Cal bred or Cal sired horses, was whittled down to three entires; Betty’s Bambino, Richard’s Kid and Ambitious Brew. While Betty’s Bambino was the clear favorite, he just couldn’t get through the two horses in front of him to make a run at the finish. Mike Smith, on Ambitious Brew, closed the gap between himself and Richard’s Kid, with Victor Espinoza on board, leaving Corey Nakatani to go wide. Though Betty’s Bambino came on willingly at the end, he couldn’t catch the winner. Ambitious Brew just edged out Richard’s Kid for the win. There was no place or show wagering on race 3, and Ambitious Brew paid $8.20 to win.
The 4th race on the card was named for jockey, Chantal Sutherland, who celebrated her birthday on the 24th, turning 40 years old. Adios Cali and Flavien Prat exited the gate as the favorite, however Cash Prize, with the birthday gal aboard, had something to say about that. Cash Prize was four wide on the backstretch but came on willingly in the final stretch, battling Adios Cali to the wire. Cash Prize had his head in front to get the win. Chantal was greeted with cheers as she returned on the three-year-old Pure Prize filly, and a cake was waiting for her in the winner’s circle. Happy birthday, Chantal!
A large field of twelve set out in the 5th race, with Slalom and Edwin Maldonado breaking as the 2 to 1 favorite. Slalom though did not rally at any point during the race, settling back well off the leaders. The gray, Dahlia Azul was six wide coming into the turn but kicked hard for home and won clear. Jockey, Evin Roman had the ride on Dahlia Azul. Munny Spunt and Jamie Theriot took the place, while Eskenforandreya and Austin Solis settled for show.
In the 6th, Ward ‘n Jerry set the pace early then kept at it, inching away to clear the field under urging from jockey, Stewart Elliott. Inordinate and Corey Nakatani came on willingly to take 2nd. Power Foot and Norberto Arroyo Jr. were best of the rest.
Kimbear and Joseph Talamo dueled between horses in the 7th, then went wide in the turn only to get ahead of a rival and inch away to win. Sonneteer and and Santiago Gonzalez just edged out Pioneer Lad and Tyler Baze for the place. Seau, with Flavien Prat aboard, went off as the favorite but bobbled a bit at the start and settled for fourth.
Favorite Aldrin acted up a bit in the walking ring prior to the 8th but sped to the early lead, with jockey, Tyler Baze aboard. He however was unable to hold off foe, Prime Attraction, who came home late to take the lead by a length. Prime Attraction also acted up in the gate, but proved best under left hand urging. Aldrin settled for the place, with Curlin Road and Santiago Gonzalez taking the show. Lazzam was a late vet scratch.
In the 9th and final race on the card, favorite Evicted battled second favorite, Heat to the wire, getting just ahead of Heat and Corey Nakatani to win. Flavien Prat had the mount on Evicted, who showed a good rally in late stretch.
All in all, it was a fine day. The rain held off until late Saturday night, so it was dry, though not always clear. We are missing the sun here in So Cal!
For those that knew her, a familiar face at Santa Anita Park passed away this weekend. Pat ‘the hat’ Morris died on Friday night. A small memorial had been set up on Saturday at her usual bench. Pat was sometimes a firecracker but also was a bright presence and always had a smile, even for those she did not know. Cheers, Pat! Rest in peace.