AVANTI BELLO PREVAILS BY A NOSE UNDER BEJARANO TO WIN $150,000 TIZNOW STAKES; O’NEILL TRAINEE GETS FLAT MILE IN 1:35.30

 

RACE IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR CAL-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (May 28, 2016)–Trainer Doug O’Neill’s Avanti Bello, who easily dispatched heavily favored Songforjohnmichael turning for home, held off late charging Soi Phet by a nose to take Saturday’s $150,000 Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Avanti Bello, a 4-year-old California-bred colt by Include, pressed the pace and sat just to the outside of the favorite throughout en route to a final clocking of 1:35.30 for one mile.

“I knew Boozer and Songforjohnmichael were coming from shorter distances and were going to show more speed today,” said Bejarano. “I pretended to go to the lead to make the other horses go. They went and I found my position and waited as long as I could until the right moment. I knew that Soi Phet was going to come running in the end, so I wanted to save a little bit.

“I thought we won. When we got to the stretch I still had a little horse (left) and he was fine.”

Owned by Suarez, Keh, Richardson, Roberts and Wonderland Racing Stables, Avanti Bello, who is out of the Mizzen Mast mare Masterful Lass, came off a third place finish at 5-2 in the one mile Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos on April 16, but was dismissed at odds of 13-1 in the Tiznow and paid $28.80, $11.00 and $5.60.

In garnering his first stakes victory, Avanti Bello picked up his fourth overall win from 13 starts. With the winner’s share of $90,000, he increased his earnings to $233,743.

“Rafael thought he was like riding a bike a little in that you have to keep his mind on the game,” said O’Neill. “But, at the same time he’s a horse that is very tempting to shoot off to the lead early with because he has the gate speed. Rafael chose to sit in a reserved spot and when he called on him, he chirped at him he had saved enough for the end.”

Last in the field of seven older California-bred or sired horses turning down the backside, Soi Phet pulled himself into a joint third mid-way around the far turn under Kent Desormeaux and just missed in a head bobbing finish.

“Gallant effort, I thought I won. I thought I won,” said Desormeaux.

Off at 5-1, Soi Phet finished 4 ¼ lengths clear of second choice Boozer and paid $5.60 and $4.40.

Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Boozer was a close second at the rail to Songforjohnmichael into the Club House turn, got shuffled back a bit to the half mile pole but couldn’t go with the top two the final eighth and finishing third, 2 ¾ lengths in front of the favorite.

Off at 4-1, Boozer paid $3.20 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.96, 45.93, 1:10.20 and1:22.58.