ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2017)–Classy Illuminant, idle since May 30, returned to the races with her running shoes on Friday at Santa Anita, as she took the $75,000 Wishing Well Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths under Flavien Prat while covering 6 ½ furlongs down the Camino Real Turf Course in 1:12.27. Trained by Michael McCarthy, she was last seen winning Santa Anita’s Grade I Gamely Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf May 30.
“Even though she didn’t run that well down the hill the last time she tried it (fourth, beaten one length in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes on Jan. 3, 2016), she did it pretty easily today,” said Prat. “She had trained well and we had a good pace…She galloped out pretty good as well.”
A comfortable third behind dueling leaders Kera Kera and Paquita Coqueta (ridden by brothers, Scott and Gary Stevens) a quarter mile out, Illuminant swung three deep at the dirt crossing turning for home and in a flash, the Wishing Well was over as she easily motored to the lead.
Off at even money in a field of seven older fillies and mares, Iluminant paid $4.20, $2.60 and $2.40. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Head of Plains Partners, LLC and SF Racing, LLC, Illuminant, a 5-year-old mare by Quality Road, improved her overall mark to 12-5-2-1. With the winner’s share of $46,260, she increased her earnings to $413,910.
“The way it set up, it kinda went the way we had planned,” said McCarthy. “She’s a quality mare. There were some decent fillies in there, but I’m not surprised she got bet down. She’d been training like she was well-meant.”
With sizzling splits to run at, Prize Exhibit, who was next to last at the quarter pole, put in her customary burst to finish second, a half length in front of Miss Double d’Oro, who ran on from last. Ridden by Mike Smith, Prize Exhibit was off at 7-2 and paid $2.80 and $2.60.
Off at 8-1 with Santiago Gonzalez, Miss Double d’Oro paid $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.09, 42.94 and 1:06.07.
Special early first post time tomorrow, Santa Anita Handicap Day, is at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.