OWNED IN-PART BY MTV’S ROB DYRDEK, MEGA HEAT REGISTERS 10TH CAREER WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2015)–Favored Mega Heat turned on the jets the final sixteenth of a mile to win Friday’s $65,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita by a half length under Corey Nakatani and served ample notice he has no intentions of slowing down at the tender age of eight. Trained by Peter Eurton, Mega Heat registered his 10th career win from 22 starts while covering one mile on turf in 1:33.95.
Although runner-up Hay Dude, with Kent Desormeaux up appeared to have the jump on him a furlong from home, Mega Heat called upon his class and won going away.
“This is like winning a stakes race,” said Eurton. “This is his 10th win and he’s been with us since he was a 2-year-old…He’s the old man in the barn, but he’s acting like a 2-year-old. Today, he was bucking and playing in the paddock and he’s just feeling good.”
Off at 5-2 in a field of nine older horses, Mega Heat, an 8-year-old California-bred gelding by Unusual Heat, was entered for an optional claiming tag of $80,000. He paid $7.40, $3.60 and $3.00. Owned by Sharon Alesia, Ciaglia Racing, LLC and Rob Dyrdek (of “Ridiculousness” fame on MTV), Mega Heat picked up $50,700 for the win, increasing his bankroll to $437,500.
“He’s the one that started it (success in the horse business) all for me,” said Dyrdek, who was mobbed by fans following the race. “It’s unbelievable that your very first horse would end up being so special and still doing so well for me this many years later. I’m very lucky. I’ve got a horse that keeps winning–He’s like fine wine.”
Next to last through the first half mile, Mega Heat was second turning for home behind splits of 22.51, 45.23, 1:09.67 and 1:22.07.
“My main concern, with the rails out (24 feet), was leaving him too much to do,” said Nakatani. “He travels so well for me and I have so much confidence in him. What more can you say? He’s an Unusual Heat, he’s a nice horse and he makes me look good.”
Far back early, Hay Dude saved ground with Desormeaux at the rail, swung four wide while full of run at the quarter pole and was clearly second best, finishing 4 ½ lengths in front of Little Jerry and Edwin Maldonado. Off at 4-1, he paid $4.60 and $3.80.
Off at 8-1, Little Jerry paid $4.00 to show.
First post time for a nine-race card Saturday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.