ARCADIA, Calif. (March 28, 2014)–Favored Pathway to Yes rocketed from the gate and never looked back on Friday at Santa Anita, taking the track’s $58,000 Cape Horn Purse allowance by a 1 ½ lengths, providing hot apprentice Drayden Van Dyke with his third win on the day while covering 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:12.50.
The lone California-bred in a field of seven 3-year-olds, Pathway to Yes came off a gate to wire starter allowance score down the hill on Feb. 23 and was dispatched as the 8-5 favorite.
A 3-year-old gelding by Lucky J.H., Pathway to Yes is trained by Dan Blacker and is owned by his breeder, Harris Farms, Inc. In collecting his third win from five starts, he paid $5.20, $3.00 and $2.60.
“I’m feelin’ great and I love goin’ down the hill, especially when the (temporary) rail’s out (30 feet),” said Van Dyke, age 19. “I just let them break and like (trainer) Bruce Headley tells me ‘break and float,’ just let them get their feet underneath them and go. I think I’m just getting lucky (down the hill), but I do think I have a knack for it.”
With the winner’s share of $45,240, Pathway to Yes increased his earnings to $88,690.
“He’s obviously great going down the hill and if he can learn to relax, he might be able to get a mile on the grass,” said Blacker.
Breaking from the rail, Forever Juanito, who had been away since breaking his maiden on July 27 at Del Mar, sat a close second under Agapito Delgadillo down the hill, jostled repeatedly with Number Five and Victor Espinoza approaching the eighth pole and although a bit erratic, was second best, finishing a half length in front of Number Five.
Off at 6-1, Forever Juanito paid $6.00 and $3.60.
The third choice in the wagering at 7-2, Number Five stalked the pace down the hill and appeared to have dead aim on the winner in deep stretch but couldn’t out run Forever Juanito for the place and finished third, a length in front of Karma King and Joe Talamo.
Number Five paid $2.80 to show.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Saturday, with first post time for a nine-race program at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.