HARD HITTING CALIFORNIA-BRED ALERT BAY TAKES GRADE II, $200,000 CITY OF HOPE MILE BY ONE LENGTH UNDER GARCIA; WRIGHT SAYS 4-YEAR-OLD CITY ZIP GELDING TO BE CONSIDERED FOR BREEDERS’ CUP MILE AT KEENELAND OCT. 31

 

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $62,473 INTO THURSDAY, TOTAL POOL EXPECTED TO EXCEED $400,000

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2015)–California-bred Alert Bay once again demonstrated his gameness and versatility in taking Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 City of Mile (turf) at Santa Anita as the 4-year-old City Zip gelding stalked a fast pace under Martin Garcia and flew home to win by one length over longshot Big Cazanova in a rapid 1:33.58.

A close third two start back in the Grade III Longacres Mile near Seattle, Alert Bay was a 2 ¼ length winner of the 1 1/16 turf Rolling Green Stakes at Golden GateFields Sept. 7 and was making his fourth consecutive start at as many tracks Sunday at Santa Anita.

“This horse likes to be up near the running and it set up real good with a fast pace (22.69, 45.74, 1:09.58 and 1:21.67,” said winning trainer Blaine Wright, who is based at Golden Gate Fields. “This was actually Mr. Redekop’s (Peter, owner) decision to run here. I had a different race, but he wanted to keep him stretched out.”

When asked about the prospect of running in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (turf) at Keeneland Oct. 31, Wright said, “I’d certainly have to think about it. We faced a good group of horses today and now we’ll get him back home, evaluate him, talk it over with Mr. Redekop and see what goes on from there.

“…I’ve never had such a versatile, hard knocking horse as him. He can run on any surface. Obviously, he’s best on turf but he can run on dirt and even (synthetic) Tapeta.”

Off at 4-1 in a field of eight three year olds and up, Alert Bay paid $10.80, $6.80 and $3.20. With the win, he notched his fourth win from five starts over the Santa Anita lawn and improved his overall mark to 19-10-4-2. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he hiked his bankroll to $954,495.

“Blaine told me to put him in a good spot where we wouldn’t get into trouble, follow the speed and make your move outside,” said Garcia, who was a close fourth with three furlongs to run and rallied five-deep turning for home. “I was pretty comfortable outside and when I saw Gary (Stevens, aboard favored Avanzare) ask him going into the stretch and Avanzare didn’t respond, I knew it was mine.”

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Argentine-bred Big Cazanova pressed pacesetter Hot Hot Heat into the far turn and took command at the three furlong pole but couldn’t hold the winner off the final sixteenth.

Off at 18-1, he paid $17.80 and $7.60.

“I can’t believe I got beat,” said Desormeaux. “I was haulin’ ass!! My horse ran a hole in the wind and we still got beat. Congrats to the winner. Who is that horse?”

Fresh off victory in the Grade II Del Mar Mile (turf) Aug. 23, Avanzare was third best, finishing 2 ¼ lengths clear of rival Talco. Off as the 8-5 favorite, Avanzare paid $2.80 to show.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Thursday at Santa Anita of $62,473. With first post time at       1 p.m., the Pick Six will cover races three through eight. The total Pick Six pool on Thursday is expected to exceed $400,000.

 

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