ARCADIA, Calif. (March 20, 2015)–Comebacking Oliver’s Tale went to the front early and registered an emphatic 3 ½ length win under Tyler Baze in Friday’s $60,000 Miss Lady Bug allowance feature at Santa Anita, covering 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s hillside turf course in 1:12.25. Trained, owned and bred by Mark Tsagalakis, the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by E Dubai had been idle since June 12.
“My instructions were to get him out of the gate and after that, he just did it himself, really classy,” said Baze. “He was going fast but he was doing it easy. If they’re fast horses and they’re doing it nice and well within themselves, it doesn’t take as much energy out of them…When I asked him, he really fired home.”
Off at 5-1 in a field of 10 older horses, Oliver’s Tale paid $13.00, $7.60 and $6.20. Undefeated in two starts down the hill, Oliver’s Tale got his third win from eight starts and with the winner’s cut of $36,000, increased his earnings to $133,450.
“He runs well fresh,” said Tsagalakis, who is headquartered with a small stable at Los Alamitos. “We brought him over here a week before the race and he likes the track here. I felt he’d run well today.”
When asked if the Grade III San Simeon Stakes, to be run down the hillside turf on April 19 would be considered, Tgagalakis said “Yes, we can think about it.”
Longshot Indexical, who sat close to the winner’s fractions of 21.54, 43.28 and 1:06.23, proved second best under Mario Gutierrez, finishing second, a half length in front of Horse Laugh. Off at 12-1, Indexical paid $10.60 and $7.20.
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and the next-to-longest shot in the field at 41-1, Horse Laugh rallied from last for the show and paid $10.40.
Note: Owner/breeder and trainer Mark Tsagalakis was joined in the Winner’s Circle by his 82-year-old father, “Sad Sam” Tsagalakis, who gained national fame in the early 1950s as an outstanding place kicker for the USC Trojans football team.
“I’ve been coming here since I worked as an usher when I was going to USC, back in 1952, ’53 and ’54,” said Sam Tsagalakis. “It’s so nice to be out here for Mark. It’s not the Kentucky Derby. It’s not the Preakness, but it is Santa Anita.”
First post time for a nine-race card Saturday, highlighted by the Grade II, $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes, is at 12:30 pm. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.