ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2018)–Second in the race a year ago, French-bred Itsinthepost served notice on Saturday at Santa Anita that he’s as good as ever at age six, as he rolled to a well-timed 1 ¼ length victory under Tyler Baze in the Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Itsinthpost, who notched his fourth graded stakes victory, got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:47.59.
A stalking fourth around the first turn and into the far turn, Itsinthepost engaged pacesetter Smokey Image turning for home, gained the advantage a furlong out and prevailed as much the best in his first start since running an even seventh in the Grade I, 1 ½ miles Breeders’ Cup Turf Nov. 4.
“I looked at the Form and it was run the exact way I thought it would be,” said Baze. “He always gives you 100 percent. He’s a barn favorite. Galindo gets on him in the mornings and he knows this horse so well…It’s really been a team effort.
“…I really just wanted to get him out there and get to the right spot, let him get into a groove and it played out just the way I thought it would today.”
Off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of 10 older horses, Itsinthepost paid $6.60, $3.80 and $3.20.
Owned by the Cohen family’s Red Baron’s Barn, LLC, the 6-year-old full horse by American Post improved his overall mark to 31-7-7-5. With the winner’s check of $120,000 he increased his earnings to $855,712.
Last in the early stages, fellow French-bred, Flamboyant came with a good run, but had to settle for second money, finishing three quarters of a length in front of Brazilian-bred Editore.
Ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke, Flamboyant was off at 6-1 and paid $6.60 and $4.80.
With Brice Blanc up, Editore, who had to wait for room at the rail a sixteenth of a mile out, finished a half length in front of Smokey Image. Off at 17-1 Editore paid $7.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.81, 48.08, 1:11.86 and 1:35.96.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.