ARCADIA, Calif. (May 13, 2017)–Talented Arms Runner overcame trouble turning for home to spring a minor upset in winning Saturday’s $75,000 Desert Code Stakes while geared down by a 1 ½ lengths under Norberto Arroyo, Jr. Trained by Peter Miller, Arms Code covered 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.33.
Fifth at the rail approaching the dirt crossing at the top of the stretch, Arroyo had to check off the heels of stablemate Big League and was forced to alter course again when in behind longshot What’sontheagenda three sixteenths of a mile out.
“Those horses came back to us pretty quick, but I had plenty of horse to overcome it,” said Arroyo. “He went around them easily. I’m confident he’ll be able to stretch out to a mile, no problem.”
Purchased for $525,000 at the Ocala Breeders 2-year-old in training sale in March, 2016, Arms Runner was an impressive first-out maiden winner down the hillside turf course on April 20 and is now unbeaten in two starts.
Off as the second choice at 8-5 in field of seven 3-year-olds, he paid $5.20, $2.80 and $2.60.
Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Arms Runner, a Florida-bred colt by Overdriven, picked up $47,100 for the victory, boosting his earnings to $79,500.
“I stuck my neck out buying this horse,” said Miller. “I never push owners to buy horses, but I pushed pretty hard for Gary to buy this one…I was a little concerned if we would get through or not at the top of the stretch. Norberto can ride a little over confidently for me sometimes…He’s a great rider and he gave this horse a great ride. He seemed to gallop out well.”
Favored at 6-5, Cistron appeared to have a perfect trip under Tyler Baze, but was no match for the winner late. Trained by John Sadler, he finished 7 ½ lengths in front of What’sontheagenda and paid $2.60 and $2.20.
Ridden by Tiago Pereira, What’sontheagenda was off at 21-1 and paid $4.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.36, 43.39 and 1:06.44.