BEJARANO GUIDES FAVORED ROYAL ALBERT HALL TO 1 ¼ LENGTHS WIN IN $58,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE; TRAINED BY O’NEILL, ENGLISH-BRED GELDING GETS FIRST STATESIDE WIN BY COVERING 1 ¼ MILES IN 1:59.90

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2016)–With a powerful late kick, English-bred Royal Albert Hall broke an 11-game losing streak by taking Friday’s $58,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by 1 ¼ lengths under leading rider Rafael Bejarano. Conditioned by Doug O’Neill, who with the win, went one-up in the trainer standings over Phil D’Amato, 28-27, the 4-year-old gelding got a mile and a quarter on turf in 1:59.90.

Fourth with a quarter mile to run, favored “Royal Albert” angled three-wide turning for home and won as best at odds of 8-5 in a field of nine older horses.

Owned by Steve Keh, Scott Knight, Mike Ryan and Westside Rentals.com, Royal Albert Hall paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.80.

“He’s always shown plenty of ability since he first came to our barn (in late 2014),” said O’Neill assistant, Steve Rothblum. “He showed a lot of promise, so we kept running him against some of the best grass horses out here in stakes. Thankfully the owners were patient and even though he wasn’t winning, we ran up some money ($144,624 in 2015) with him. This race should be a good confidence builder.

With the winner’s share of $34,800, Royal Albert Hall increased his earnings to $194,983. With Friday’s win, his overall mark now stands at 17-2-6-4.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Excessive Kid trailed the field heading into the far turn and finished up well to be second, 2 ¼ lengths in front of Cardiac.

Off at 7-1, Excessive Kid paid $6.00 and $4.80.

With Fernando Perez up, Cardiac showed the way to the five sixteenths pole, where he was overtaken narrowly by Dreaming of Gold, who he outran for third money. Off at 12-1, Cardiac paid $6.00 to show.

(With the win, Bejarano now leads the recently sidelined Santiago Gonzalez 63-47 in the jockey standings).

Fractions on the race were 22.53, 46.54, 1:10.89 and 1:35.28.

First post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.