Kentucky Derby Saturday proved to be an exciting one from the Bluegrass State to not-so-sunny So Cal. The track for the Derby was sloppy while the Santa Anita Track was wet-fast, with off and on sprinkles. I’m sure by now everyone knows that Always Dreaming creamed the field, and if nobody comes up with any competition for this talented colt, we might just have another Triple Crown winner on our hands. But the Derby wasn’t the only great race of the day.
In the 1st, Sir Valentine and Martin Pedroza got ahead of the field at the far turn then cleared the pack to win. The 7 to 1 shot paid $17.20 on a $2.00 bet, a good start to the day. Cono and Joseph Talamo got up for the place, with favorite, Bookies Luck, with Edwin Maldonado on board, rounding out the finish.
Blackjackcat and Rafael Bejarano went off as the favorite in the 2nd, however were unable to overtake 3 to 1 shot, Roy H and Edwin Maldonado. Tiz a Billy and Chantal Sutherland were clearly second best, and Blackjackcat settled for third.
A pretty awesome milestone occurred in the 3rd, when Chantal Sutherland on Giro Candito charged late and got the win at the wire over 27 to 1 long shot, My Farmer. The win was the 1000th for jockey, Chantal Sutherland, the joy of which showed on her face as she rode back on Giro Candito. The gelding also broke his maiden in this race. Favorite, Cupid’s Beau and Evin Roman took the show. A big hearty congrats to Chantal!
There was no catching Besides the Point and Joseph Talamo in the 4th. The 10 to 1 shot cleared the field mid stretch for the win, with 11 to 1 shot, Yavrig and Ruben Fuentes edging out Chantal Sutherland and Rally Back for the place. The winning exacta paid $84.90, with the trifecta paying out $375.10.
The 5th race, the Senorita Stakes (Grade III on turf) saw the triumphant Sircat Sally bring her winning streak to six straight, in six total starts. The brilliant Surf Cat filly, with Stewart Elliott aboard, was the clear favorite, inched away at the eighth pole and never looked back. Beau Recall and Joseph Talamo just edged out Pacific Wind and Jamie Theriot for the place. There are high hopes Sircat Sally will continue the tradition of recent champion fillies and mares like Songbird and Beholder stabled at Santa Anita. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The tend of long shots, broken up by the win of Sircat Sally, continued when 10 to 1 shot, Summer Buddha, guided by Austin Solis, rallied to win the 6th. With 4 to 1, Cammy’s Music and Edwin Maldonado getting the place, bettors were treated to a $51.90 exacta pay out, and Buckner, at 4 to 1, with Joseph Talamo up, created at $357.80 trifecta.
Yet another long shot took home the win in the 7th, with 17 to 1 Tink’s Twirl bidding along the rail and getting up for 1st, under Jamie Theriot. Favorite, Lyrics and Joseph Talamo held on for second, and She’sashocker and Edwin Maldonado took the show. Tink’s Twirl was certainly not the last long shot to win on this card.
Edwin Maldonado and Shy Carmelita kept it going, clearing the field and holding for the win, at odds of 20 to 1, in the 8th, to pay $42.20. With Avicii and Norberto Arroyo Jr. nosing out 14 to 1 shot, Time for Ebby and Stewart Elliott, who got the show, the winning trifecta paid out $878.30.
But it wasn’t over yet. In the 9th, Austin Solis came home for another win on the card on The Critical Way, a first time starter, who went off at odds of 45 to 1. Brayan Pena and Invasion Looming got the place, at 19 to 1. This winning exacta gave bettors $445.00, and the winning trifecta, with Placido in third, paid a whopping $4349.30. It was even better for those who had a winning superfecta – they took home $36,042 on a dollar bet.
Bowies Hero gave Tiago Pereira a win in the 10th, the Singletary Stakes (Black Type). Though he stumbled a bit at the start and was six wide in the stretch, Bowies Hero rallied to get up ahead of Bird is the Word and Rafael Bejarano. 5 to 1 Vending Machine got the show, and favorite, Sharp Samurai settled for fourth.
In the last race, the 11th on the card, a favorite once again took the win, when Strong Values and Evin Roman got clear of the pack. 8 to 1, Via Fermato and Juan Ochoa bid for lead but got the place after dueling with Strong Values in the stretch, and True Ranger, with Martin Pedroza got the show.
All in all a good day for racing, with big payouts and big surprises. Now we all sit and wait for May 20th and the Preakness Stakes. Will Always Dreaming prevail? We’ll see!