FINNEGANS WAKE RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE II, $200,000 SAN MARCOS STAKES UNDER ESPINOZA; MILLER TRAINEE NOTCHES THIRD CONSECUTIVE WIN AS HE GETS 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF IN 2:00.88

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2015)–With an eye catching move around the far turn, Finnegans Wake rallied from far off the pace to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes by one length while covering 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:00.88.

Previously based in the Midwest and fresh off a pair of Grade II stakes wins in the Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar Nov. 27 and the San Gabriel Stakes Jan. 3, Finnegans Wake notched his third consecutive win for trainer Peter Miller and owners Donnegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch.

“The horse ran great,” said Miller. “Victor gave him a tremendous ride. The horse is unbelievable. He just keeps firing. I wish I could take the credit. The horse really has blossomed out here…He’s got a great turn of foot and he’s a very ratable horse. Victor and the horse go together like six and seven.”

Off at 9-5 in a field of eight older horses, Finnegans Wake, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Powerscourt, paid $5.80, $3.40 and $3.00. He improved his overall record to 27-6-3-3 and with the winner’s share of $120,000, Finnegans Wake became a millionaire, with earnings of $1,065,375.

“I wasn’t ever concerned about catching (longshot pacesetter) Diamond Bachelor,” said Espinoza. “I thought I could catch them anytime I wanted. This horse is unbelievable. He runs, he tries hard. He really likes it here in California…distance is never a problem. I thought last time, going a mile and one eighth was a bit short for him but he took it well. Today, it was even better for him.”

Pacesetter Diamond Bachelor, under Martin Pedroza sped to an early charge and went on to open a commanding lead. The Patrick Biancone trainee held on through the stretch but ducked out from a left handed whip late and moved into path of third place finisher Power Ped and was disqualified to fourth.

Power Ped, ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Neil Drysdale paid $8.80 and $5.60 to place.

Neil Drysdale’s other entry, Power Foot, ridden by Kieren Fallon paid $7.40 to show.

The fractions on the race were 24.01, 48.27, 1:12.56 and 1:36.40.

First post time for a nine-race card at Santa Anita on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.

–30–