Finally back at Santa Anita on a Saturday! Not much in the way of stakes action but some serious money was to be won by those lucky bettors on this day, and there were some amazing surprise upsets.
In the 1st, Face of Victory and Stewart Elliott went off as the 2 to 1 favorite but could not catch 4 to 1 shot Gentrified and Flavien Prat, who won clear late in the stretch. Face of Victory hung on for second while 18 to 1 shot Quiet Dude and Tiago Pereira got up to show.
The 2nd saw on the downhill turf course and showcased heavy favorite, Jabber Now and Corey Nakatani. Jabber Now however was not a factor until late but could not catch 21 to 1 shot Aflewency and Gary Stevens, who was five-wide in the stretch. Long shots rounded out the order of finish, with 32 to 1 Right to the Point an Efrain Hernandez taking the place, and 14 to 1 shot, R Sunday Surprise (full kin to California Chrome) and Israel Ocampo got the show. Jabber Now finished fourth. The winning exacta paid $426.50, and the winning trifecta paid a whopping $6459.70.
There was no catching favorite Microrithms and Evin Roman as he charged down the stretch to win clear over rival, Stone Hands and Mario Gutierrez, in the 3rd. Microrithms was a first time started for trainer, Bob Baffert, and looks to be a promising three-year-old.
Another favorite charged home when Where’s the D gave Evin Roman back-to-back wins in the 4th. Where’s the D drew away under urging from his jockey after stalking the pace. 37 to 1 shot, Smil’n From Above and Kayla Stra came on late to get the place, with Stately Command and Juan Sanchez getting the show.
Favorite, Forest Blue and Tyler Baze went gamely to the wire after stalking the pace but could not get ahead of 18 to 1 shot, Blue Anchor and Jamie Theriot. The flashy looking Mark Glatt trainee drifted out from the whip but held the win over Rocket Fuel and Edwin Maldonado. Forest Blue settled for third. Blue Anchor paid $39.20 to win, with the exacta paying out $191.70.
The 6th race, the Honeymoon Stakes (Grade II) was the free spot on the card, with undefeated Sircat Sally headlining the race. It was a hard fought battle to the wire, but Mike Smith and Sircat Sally won in the end. This brings the Surf Cat filly’s win streak to 6 lifetime starts. Beau Recall and Joseph Talamo got the place, and Pacific Wind with Jamie Theriot took the show.
Favorite, Kenzou’s Empire and Agapito Delgadillo bobbled at the start and were five-wide in the stretch. However late runner, Wheresthemoneyjack and Tyler Baze came up to get the win over Rick’s Dream and Evin Roman. Liberation and Tiago Pereira just edged out Kenzou’s Empire for the show. The winning trifecta in the 7th paid $460.10.
In the 8th, the Bottom Line Starter Handicap, favorite, Hay Dude did not disappoint, winning clear over 7 to 1 shot, County Lineman and Israel Ocampo. Gary Stevens and Wood Machine rounded out the finish at odds of 5 to 1.
The 9th race was a feature in the Summertime Oaks. Another heavy favorite was left in the dust as three horses came to the wire. Faypien and Rafael Bejarano proved best, holding off rival, Mopotism and Mario Gutierrez, who finished second, and Spooky Woods and Flavien Prat. A stewards’ inquiry though showed Spooky Woods drifted out and caused interference and was disqualified to fifth. This moved Majestic Quality and Kent Desormeaux up to third and It Tiz Well, with Mike Smith to fourth.
In the final race, the 10th, gray favorite, Oregon put on quite a show, with Gary Stevens on board. The Mizzen Mast colt was three-wide at the eighth pole
but suddenly surged onward to win well clear, even under a hold from Stevens. Combat Zone came between rivals for the place, with Evin Roman on board, and Divisor and Tiago Pereira rounded out the finish.
A Pick-6 ticket with six correct paid out $31, 626.20, though the late Pick-4 only paid $125. 75, with a carry-over for Sunday. We are winding down on the season, with the last day being July 4th, and there are still a few exciting days on the race cards before racing heads to Del Mar for the summer. Hope to see some more great racing over the next few weeks!
And if you haven’t met him yet, here is St. Patrick’s Day (formerly known as Irish Pharoah), full brother to American Pharoah! Doesn’t he look good?