PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $91,899 INTO SUNDAY, POOL EXPECTED TO EXCEED $750,000, WITH MANDATORY PAYOUTS IN BOTH THE PICK SIX AND PICK 5
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 18, 2015)–Next to last into the far turn, Irish-bred Queen of The Sand skimmed the rail and managed to split horses four-wide turning for home under Drayden Van Dyke en route to a nose victory in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Queen of The Sand ran down pacesetter Fanticola right on the money, as she got 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:01.04.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Fanticola made an easy lead and dictated the pace through splits of 24.57, 48.39, 1:12.90 and 1:37.05.
“I knew I had a lot of horse but it was all about getting through at the top of the lane,” said Van Dyke. “Luckily…I was able to hustle my way out of there, got through and had a run. At the wire I knew I had it. Down the lane, I saw Fanticola and knew she was fighting on, but I went left handed at the last second and got up there.”
Off at 6-1 in a field of nine older fillies and mares, Queen of The Sand paid $15.80, $7.60 and $4.80. Owned by Derrick Fisher, the 5-year-old mare by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Footstepsinthe sand picked up her eighth win from 23 starts and with the winner’s share of $90,000, increased her earnings to $343,920.
“I was a little concerned with the pace, and she did have some trouble in the race in the upper stretch,” said Gallagher, who has now saddled her to four wins from eight Southern California starts. “She had been training well and her last race (an even eighth place run in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles turf Santa Ana Stakes on March 15) helped her, I think. We’ll look at the Gamely (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles turf on May 25) for her next race.”
Off at 7-1, Fanticola finished 1 ¼ lengths in front a much-troubled Three Hearts and paid $8.60 and $4.80.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Three Hearts paid $2.80 to show, as the narrow second choice at 5-2. (There was just $1,200 more bet on the actual favorite, Diversy Harbor). Three Hearts, who sat a close third at the rail behind Fanticola and longshot Tangelo into and around the far turn, finally angled off the fence with a furlong to go, but was out-sprinted home by the one-two finishers.
“I didn’t have anywhere to go,” said Baze. “Mario (Gutierrez, on Tangelo) laid on me the whole race and never really gave my horse a shot to run. He had no horse. He was all over me from the time the gates opened. By the time I could get her out to run, it was too late…She a nice horse. She ran hard.”
Diversy Harbor, who was the actual favorite at 5-2, with $81,245 bet to win on her, trailed throughout with Gary Stevens up and went wrong approaching the quarter pole, necessitating a van ride back to trainer Tom Proctor’s barn.
There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday of $91,899 and it is expected Sunday’s total Pick Six pool will exceed $750,000. As Sunday is the current Winter Meet’s closing day, there is a mandatory payout in both the Pick Six and Pick 5.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.