NFL HALL OF FAMER BRUCE MATTHEWS AMONG WINNER’S CIRCLE ATTENDEES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2014)–Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith and trained by Bob Hess, Jr., Mischief Clem followed up on a huge first-out maiden win with an equally impressive allowance score Friday at Santa Anita, taking the track’s $58,000 Dick Salter allowance feature by a measured length and a quarter, covering six furlongs in 1:09.75.
Named for nearby Arcadia High School’s legendary late football coach, the Salter attracted a group of seven California-bred or sired 2-year-olds, with Mischief Clem the overwhelming 1-2 favorite.
Last but full of run leaving the three eighths pole, Mischief Clem shifted off the rail and sliced his way through traffic around the far turn and hit the front a sixteenth out. With NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews among a group of Arcadia High alums looking on, Mischief Clem paid $3.00, $2.80 and $2.40.
“He’s got a lot of room to grow,” said Smith, who took over from the recently injured Kent Desormeaux. “Today, he broke quick, but he didn’t put his feet back on the ground quick enough and he stumbled a bit, but not as bad as the four horse (Naomi’s Gift, who unseated Tyler Baze). He stumbled for about three or four jumps and then he got up and was in a bit of a traffic jam. He handled it like an older horse though and it was a great experience for him. He caught a lot of dirt. He had to maneuver, but he still won.”
A bay colt by Papa Clem, Mischief Clem is owned by Griffin Thoroughbred Stables and he picked up $34,800 for the win–increasing his earnings to $79,800.
“I’m lucky to have this horse,” said Hess. “He was raised at the owner’s farm and they showed me a video of him six months before I got him. We’ll point for the seven furlong race, the ($200,000) Golden State Juvenile, here on Nov. 1.”
Longshot Comanche Ruler sat close throughout with apprentice Drayden Van Dyke and finished three quarters of a length in front of Peradventure. Off at 29-1, Comanche Ruler paid $15.40 and $6.00.
Ridden by Alex Solis, Peradventure set fractions of 22.00, 44.78 and 57.14 before tiring to finish third, some 7 ½ lengths in front of Cardiac. Off at 13-1, Peradventure paid $6.20 to show.
Prominent among a group of former Arcadia High football players in the Winner’s Circle was Matthews, who posed for a unique “Hall of Fame” photo with Smith following the race.
“I live in Houston now and I don’t know much about racing, but to see Mike with dirt all over him like this and the type of competition that’s involved, it’s pretty amazing,” said Matthews. “It’s awesome to be here at Santa Anita and to catch up with some old classmates. Coach Salter (who passed away this past June) was all about class and he was old school–from my first day at Arcadia High until the day I finished up there. It’s really nice to honor him with this.”