ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2017)–In his first try around two turns, heavily favored Silent Bird ran down longshot El Huerfano late to take Friday’s $63,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a neck under Flavien Prat. Trained by Mark Glatt, the 5-year-old horse by Summer Bird got a flat mile in 1:36.52.
In hand under Prat around the Club House turn, Silent Bird raced a close fifth past the half mile pole and was on the move in high gear while caught four-wide turning for home, giving punters momentary pause as he veered toward the middle of the track while straightening for home.
“He was a little green once he made the lead,” said Prat. “Once we straightened away, he was fine.”
The 3-5 favorite in a field of six older horses, Silent Bird paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.40.
Owned by Norman Stables, LLC, Silent Bird was a winner of the seven furlong Damascus Stakes here two starts back on Nov. 4, and he was a game allowance winner at the same distance on Dec. 1 at Del Mar. He now has five wins from six starts and with the winner’s share of $37,800, he increased his earnings to $208,800.
“I was a little concerned that with this being his first time going long, he might get a little keen, but it was the opposite of that,” said Glatt. When asked what might be next for the streaking Silent Bird, Glatt responded, “We’ll look at the San Antonio (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 4). With all the heavy hitters seemingly out of town…Hopefully, he comes back good and we’ll go from there.
Sent from the gate by Victor Espinoza, El Huerfano dictated terms throughout through fractions of 23.14, 45.96, 1:10.52 and 1:23.40 and battled back gamely at the rail when challenged a furlong out to finish five lengths in front of Avanti Bello.
Off at 6-1, El Huerfano paid $5.20 and $3.60.
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Avanti Bello was off at 5-1 and paid $3.60 to show.
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.