FINNEGANS WAKE ROLLS LATE TO TAKE GRADE II, $200,000 SAN GABRIEL STAKES BY ONE LENGTH UNDER ESPINOZA; MILLER-TRAINED VET GETS 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF IN 1:48.38 & NOTCHES HIS SECOND STAKES WIN IN-A-ROW

 

 

MASSIVE PICK 5 CARRYOVER OF $392,388 & PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $87,422 INTO SUNDAY,       TOTAL POOLS ON SUNDAY EXPECTED TO EXCEED $2 MILLION & $500,000, RESPECTIVELY

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 3, 2015)–Ridden patiently by Victor Espinoza, long-fused Finnegans Wake wheeled five-wide turning for home and bounded to a one length win in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes, getting 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.38. Trained by Peter Miller, the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Powerscourt notched his second consecutive stakes win, as he came off a neck victory in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar Nov. 27.

“I thought today was going to be too short for him, but obviously it wasn’t,” said Espinoza. “He’s getting good. I thought they would go slower up front, but there was still a good pace. I wanted to be closer to the front, but not too close.

“He was a little confused because of (the shorter distance) so I think he sat back further than usual because of that. He went nice and comfortably which worked out well, but I had to encourage him a bit to get into the race. I had to ask him early because he’s big and he doesn’t have a ton of speed.”

Owned by Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch, Finnegans Wake, who prevailed in a field of eight older horses, improved his overall race record to 26-5-3-3, and with the winner’s share of $120,000, increased his earnings to $945,375.

“He eats well and he’s been training very well, so I felt like he would run his race,” said Miller. “Whether he could get up going a mile and an eighth was the big question, Victor gave him a super ride.

“We’ll look at all our options including maybe even Dubai. The horse trains well on dirt and he ran well in the Clark (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29, 2013), so perhaps even the Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I, 1 ¼ miles on March 7). I don’t know. I’ve got to get with the owners, enjoy this for now and maybe next week set up a game plan.”

Fractions on the race, which were set by eventual last place finisher Edge of Reality, were 24.60, 48.80, 1:12.52 and 1:36.65.

Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, runner-up Patrioticandproud was inside the winner into and around the far turn, finally got out a furlong from home and was gaining ground late to finish three quarters of a lengths in front of Power Ped. Off at 13-1, Patrioticandproud paid $11.20 and $5.20.

“It got a little congested turning for home so I had to wait for a hole to open up,” said Van Dyke, who is considered a front-runner to be voted America’s Eclipse Award winning Apprentice Jockey for 2014. “One never did, so I had to go outside the winner eventually. I think if I could have let him get a run under him a bit sooner it would have been closer. I think it would have been a horse race for sure, but it didn’t happen.”

Off at 26-1, Power Ped, with Tyler Baze up, paid $7.00 to show.

With longshots the order of the day on Saturday, there is a massive carryover into Sunday’s 50 cent Pick 5 of $392,388, and the expectation that Sunday’s total Pick 5 pool will exceed $2 million. There is also a Pick Six carryover of $87,422, and it’s expected the total Pick Six pool on Sunday will exceed $500,000.

First post time for a nine-race card Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. The Pick 5 is comprised of the first five races and the Pick Six covers the final six on the program. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.