ARCADIA, Calif. (March 29, 2015)–Blue Tone sat just off a lively pace and registered an impressive 2 ¾ length win in Sunday’s $75,000 Santana Mile at Santa Anita, covering the distance in 1:36.11 under Kent Desormeaux.
With Appealing Tale, Storm Fighter and Ankeny Hill slugging it out through fractions of 23.13, 46.14, 1:10.39 and 1:22.80, Blue Tone, who is trained by Bob Hess, Jr., eased just off the threesome turning down the backside and rallied four-wide turning for home.
“Full credit to Kent,” said Hess. “They were going pretty quick up there and the race was really over turning for home.”
Off at 9-2 in a field of eight older horses, Blue Tone paid $11.60, $6.00 and $4.40. A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Birdstone, he came off a 12-length defeat in the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream and registered his fifth win from 14 career starts. Owned by Beverly Engelberg, Schroeder Farms, LLC and Jan Steeper, Blue Tone picked up $47,400 for the win, increasing his earnings to $338,150.
“He’s a quirky horse,” said Desormeaux. “He doesn’t like to be on the inside. I had Joe Talamo and Ankeny Hill on my shoulder around the first turn and they hung there, so I had to get him out of that situation and then I had clear sailing…The company made all the difference today, he’s a really good horse.”
Interviewed by TVG following the race, co-owner Cathy Schroeder had similar sentiments.
“I just knew he was going to win on the backside,” said Schroeder. “I can’t tell you how happy I am.”
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Edge of Reality rallied from off the pace and outran Ankeny Hill by a half length for second money. Off at 9-1, Edge of Reality paid $9.40 and $6.20.
Off at 15-1, Ankeny Hill finished one length in front of favored Galicado and paid $9.00 to show.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Argentine-bred Galicado, who was off at 8-5, was next to last early but lacked any substantive rally in his U.S. debut.
“I’d like to ride him back,” said Smith. He hadn’t run since last June and he’s the kind of horse, that it’s tough to get him fit enough in the morning. He needed this race and this will put some air in him.”
Racing resumes on Thursday at Santa Anita with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. The four-day week will be highlighted by the 78th running of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on Saturday.