ARCADIA, Calif. (May 5, 2018)–Trainer Doug O’Neill’s Blame the Rider continued his ascent on the turf Saturday, as he pressed the pace and prevailed by a head over favored La La Land in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Singletary Stakes under Mario Gutierrez. Owned by Reddam Racing, LLC, Blame the Rider got a flat mile in 1:34.65.
Sent from his number seven post position by Gutierrez, Blame the Rider sat second throughout, pressing a well-meant Afleet Ascent, who grudgingly gave way well inside the sixteenth pole. In a desperate finish, Blame the Rider was able to hold off the late charge of La La Land in the final forty yards to just prevail.
“This horse has always shown ability in the mornings,” said Gutierrez. “I guess you could say he’s a late developer. When Doug switched him to the grass last time, it helped him. Unfortunately today, I couldn’t make the lead because there was too much early pressure, but he was comfortable and he’s showing us the ability that we knew he had.”
A maiden special weight winner at one mile on turf here April 14, Blame the Rider was off at 15-1 in a field of eight sophomores and paid $32.00, $10.80 and $6.40.
Purchased for $320,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale in Florida in March, 2017, Blame the Rider, who is a Kentucky-bred colt by Jimmy Creed, now has two wins from seven starts. With the winner’s check of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $101,650.
“We’ve liked him from day one, but even in the mornings, if you work him behind a slower horse, he’ll range up and won’t necessarily pass,” said O’Neill. “He’s definitely maturing and Mario knows him well. He put him in the race (early) and that was what we needed.”
Trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Joe Talamo, La La Land was last heading into the far turn and unleashed a furious stretch rally only to fall short, finishing second by a half length in front of Move Over.
Off at 7-5, La La Land paid $3.20 and $2.40.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Move Over bobbled a bit at the break, was next to last into the Club House turn, had to bide his time while three-deep turning for home and rallied to out-finish pacesetter Afleet Ascent by a neck.
Off at 9-1, Move Over paid $4.60 to show.
Fractions on the Singletary were 22.88, 46.52, 1:10.93 and 1:22.79.