What can I say about Saturday at Santa Anita Park? It was interesting.
Carrie Lynn Barker
To avoid the heat, or so I’ve heard, the first race was pushed to a 2 pm start time, with the last in a long card going off at 7 pm. With a couple stakes, 11 races and the late start, it felt like folks were tired by race Five. I left after race Nine to go have dinner. It also happened that betters were not winning, at least none that I talked to! That included me, as I did not have a winning bet until the final race I viewed; not even a show bet paid off prior to race Nine. So, yes, it was an interesting day.
Race One started the day on the downhill turf course, which saw favorite Lauren’s Ladd and Tyler Baze charge to the wire, holding off a good run from second place finisher Scuderia and Rafael Bejarano. I must say Scuderia looked great coming out of only his second race and I hope to see more from this son of Gio Ponti, along with the winner Lauren’s Ladd.
Dive Down and Edwin Maldonado win race 2
There was no catching Dive Down in the Second as jockey Edwin Maldonado gave him some urging. Dive Down gamely took the lead and drew away in the stretch. Not so for favorite Arcature and Flavien Prat, winner in the Third, the Singletary Stakes, who drifted out coming to the wire but kept the win over Triston’s Trilogy, who finished quite well but just missed edging out Arcature.
Outthink’em and Jose Verenzuela pulled an upset in the Fourth over favorite Night Badger and Brayan Pena, who had to wait out a long stewards’ inquiry. Outthink’em drifted in, appearing to cause Aikau and jockey Vinnie Bednar to steady, but the stewards held the win, noting the trouble to Aikau was instead caused by sixth-place finisher Templar. This did not sit well with the betters but after watching the replay it was apparent the stewards were correct in their ruling. This was the first time this day my win bet got edged out by a head bob.
Out of Patience and Tiago Pereira after win
Fin de Semaine, with Victor Espinoza aboard, and Quality Line and jockey Agapito Delgadillo battled down the stretch but it was Fin de Semaine, by Any Given Saturday, who got clear to win.
The Lazaro Barrera Stakes (Grade III) saw I Will Score and Martin Garcia with good speed early in the race then refusing to let anyone get by them. Mrazek and Mario Gutierrez held for second, with Smokey Image and Victor Espinoza keeping third. Favorite Denman’s Call finished a disappointing fifth.
Ziconic in the Kaden Stakes
In the Seventh, once again my win bet got caught in the final stride as Out of Patience and Tiago Pereira nipped Airfoil and Tyler Baze.
All eyes were on the Number 10 horse in the ungraded Kaden Stakes. Ziconic, the second son of the great Zenyatta, once again gave the track a try and dropped back to last, just like his mom. He had good late speed but would have needed a few more furlongs to come out in front. The Lieutenant gave Flavien Prat his second win of the day, with One More Round taking second. Ziconic, ridden by Victor Espinoza, held for third.
Round the far turn in race 8
The Ninth race, the last I watched in person before heading home, was won by one of my favorites, Glacken Too, a flashy gray son of Smoke Glacken. Edwin Maldonado urged him on and he won clear over Clever Royal and Martin Pedroza. This was my only winning ticket the whole day but I was glad it was on this horse. In my absence, Diamond Cut and Drayden Van Dyke won the 10th, and favorite Vida Bonita, with Ignacio Puglisi on board, took the 11th and final race.
Glacken Too and Edwin Maldonado win race 9
To make this day even more interesting, I earned another nickname that I’m not sure what to do with – Hot Mama. As I am neither, I’m not sure exactly how this happened, but I was also called a pixie on Friday. Maybe Friday the 13th’s reputation rolled over into Saturday.
Hope everyone puts their money on Nyquist for the Preakness! And thanks to Mario Gutierrez for the autograph. I feel there are many more to come for Mario!
— By Carrie Lynn Barker, who shares her thoughts, observations and photos of the horse-related activities from her near-weekly visits to Santa Anita Park on Saturdays during racing season (all photos by Carrie). You can view Carrie’s photos at her website CLB Photography: Life behind the Lens (clbphotography.org). Carrie is a photographer who lives in Monrovia with her screenwriter husband Brandon and is Chief Member Concierge at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce. Carrie has written seven stories published as ebooks and has produced several films. She has also been Operation Manager of Barfly Staff Monitoring Services since 2010.