ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2018)–Idle since early September, trainer Dan Blacker’s English-bred Double Touch was last throughout much of his initial hillside turf adventure Friday at Santa Anita, but kicked into gear when it counted and took the day’s $58,000 allowance feature by a half length while surging on the far outside with Flavien Prat up. A respectable seventh in the Grade II Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf Sept. 3, he covered 6 ½ furlongs over the Santa Anita lawn in 1:13.43.
“I always thought he’d be the type of horse that would like coming down the hill,” said Blacker. “We never had a chance to try it until today.”
Off at 11-1 in a field of nine older horses, Double Touch paid $25.00, $9.60 and $4.60.
Owned by Radley Equine, Inc., Roadrunner Racing, R. Gold, Scott MacDonald and K. Smole, Double Touch, a 4-year-old gelding, was last well inside the furlong pole when Prat made the decision to angle to the far outside and he managed to outrun runner-up Cimpl Man as well as heavily favored B Squared.
The win, Double Touch’s second in six stateside starts, improved his overall mark to 11-3-1-1. With the winner’s check of $34,800, he increased his earnings to $89,837.
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Cimpl Man tried to rally with the winner late, but was second best and finished a head in front of B Squared. Off at 13-1 Cimpl Man paid $13.40 and $5.00.
B Squared, who stalked the early pace under Mario Gutierrez, made the lead a furlong from home but appeared to idle some and was nailed in the final stages to finish third, a half length in front of The Critical Way. Off at 4-5, B Squared paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.21, 43.51 and 1:07.20.
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.