ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2017)–Last with three furlongs to run, classy Liam the Charmer rallied five-wide around the far turn en route to a solid one length win in Thursday’s $56,000 Santa Anita allowance feature under Victor Espinoza, as he got a mile and a quarter over a “good” turf in 1:59.55. Trained by Michael McCarthy, “Liam” had been idle since running fourth as the favorite in a 1 1/16 miles turf allowance at Del Mar on Nov. 19.
“We’ve always thought he was a nice colt,” said McCarthy, who saddled the 4-year-old son of Smart Strike to a close fifth place finish two starts back in the Grade III La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 6. “Victor rode him great, the pace was ideal and the ground had a little ‘give’ to it, which was to his liking.”
The 9-5 favorite in a field of nine older horses, Liam the Charmer paid $5.60, $3.80 and $3.00. Bred by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally and his wife Debbie, he’s owned by Mr. and Mrs. W.K. Warren, Jr. With the winner’s share of $33,600, he increased his earnings to $94,226 while running his overall record to 7-2-1-1.
Like the winner, Beach View, who was ridden by Stewart Elliott, rallied wide from off the pace, finishing a half length in front of Mission Driven. Originally based in the mid-Atlantic region, Beach View made his Southern California debut at 25-1 and paid $22.00 and $10.00.
Off at 5-2 with Flavien Prat, Mission Driven paid $3.00 to show.
Fractions, which were set by eventual sixth place finisher Little Scotty, were 23.01, 47.14, 1:11.23 and 1:35.33.
First post time for an eight-race card on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.