ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2015)–Sent to the front by Edwin Maldonado, Distinctiv Passion held off favored San Onofre by a neck to take Monday’s six furlong Grade III, $100,000 Los Angeles Stakes at Santa Anita in 1:08.00.
The third choice at 2-1 in a four-horse field of three year olds and up, bounced back from a disappointing 13th place run in a Group I, five furlong turf sprint in Dubai on March 28. With no show wagering, he paid $6.60 and $3.00. Owned by Edward Brown, Jr., Alan Klein and Phillip Lebherz, Distinctiv Passion, a 5-year-old Florida-bred horse by With Distinction, picked up his eighth win from 17 starts and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased his earnings to $453,660.
“This time, he put his ears forward as soon as we left the gate and I didn’t move on him,” said Maldonado. “I knew I had enough to win today. I was just waiting to push the button, waiting on San Onofre. I knew it was going to be a two-horse race.”
“The Dubai race was a totally wasted race,” said Bonde. “If you look at all the American horses over there that ran on the turf, they did miserably. On the main track, they did fine…I’m sure you’ll see the horse next in the Bing Crosby (Grade I, six furlongs at Del Mar this summer).”
Ridden by Mike Smith, San Onofre, came off a close second in the Grade II, 6 ½ furlong Kona Gold Stakes at Santa Anita April 11, and was thus dispatched as the 4-5 favorite. Breaking from the outside, he sat third early and was second turning for home, two lengths off the winner.
“Distinctiv Passion was hard to catch today,” said Smith. “He has unbelievable speed and it’s hard to catch him coming from behind. My horse finished up real well, though. I wish we were going six and a half today.”
Trained by Karen Headley, San Onofre finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Wild Dude and paid $2.80 to place.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Wild Dude, the actual second choice in the wagering at 2-1, finished 1 ¾ lengths clear of longshot War Academy.
Fractions on the race, all set by Distinctiv Passion, were 22.19, 44.48 and 55.95.