ARCADIA, Calif. (June 9, 2017)–Favored Doc Curlin gave chalk players some anxious moments, but he flew late to get up to win Friday’s $56,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a head under Mario Gutierrez. In his first start for trainer Richard Baltas, he negotiated 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:12.85.
“He likes this hill, but I didn’t want to make it that close,” said Gutierrez, who has now guided him to a pair of wins in his last three starts over Santa Anita’s unique hillside layout. “He broke a little slow and we had some traffic, but he runs really well fresh.”
Idle since running third over the course on April 8, Doc Curlin, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Curlin, was off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.40.
Owned by Tachycardia Stables, Doc Curlin picked up $33,600 for the win, thus boosting his earnings to $99,295. He now has an overall mark of 11-3-1-2.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, David’s Memory went to the lead right out of the gate and proved tough to overhaul late, as he finished second, a half length in front of Skelton Pass. Off at 3-1, David’s Memory paid $3.60 and $2.80.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Skelton Pass was close to the pace the entire trip and had to settle for third money. Off at 9-2, he paid $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.75, 44.38 and 1:06.92.
Santa Anita will offer a special 11-race program on Belmont Stakes Day tomorrow, with admission gates opening at 8 a.m. First live race post time at Santa Anita is at 12 noon.