ARCADIA, Calif. (June 28, 2015)–With heavily favored Going Somewhere racing erratically early and late, longshot Crucero, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux and trained by his brother, Keith, prevailed by a neck to win Sunday’s closing day Grade III, $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes at Santa Anita. Second in a mile and a quarter turf allowance one week ago, the 5-year-old Florida-bred horse by Admiral’s Cruise covered a mile and three quarters on turf in 2:49.46.
“Keith prepped him in a mile and a quarter race just 10 days ago (actually seven days ago, June 21) and I think he was a better horse today because of it,” said Kent Desormeaux. “He was aggressive last time and he just cantered around the racetrack today and had tons left down the lane…Some horses want a mile and three quarters, he could run two miles. He should probably live in Europe where they run that distance often. America needs some more two mile races.”
Off at 23-1 in a field of seven 3-year-olds and up, Crucero paid $48.40, $10.00 and $4.20. Owned by Big Chief Racing, LLC, he picked up $90,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $190,380. Crucero’s overall mark now stands at 17-2-5-5.
“The typical signs after a horse runs a tough race are, they come out of the feed tub, they might not have as much enthusiasm during training, they lose a little weight. Typical stuff, and he didn’t show any of those signs during the week,” said Keith Desormeaux. “I did the best I could to convince myself not to run back in a week, but this race stared me in the face. A mile and three quarters, and with that long, lumbering stride he has, plus the fact that he can cover it so well, I just had to do it.”
Going Somewhere, who is trained by Neil Drysdale and was ridden by Mike Smith, went to the lead after the first quarter mile down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and took Smith to the middle of the course after he crossed the dirt coming into the stretch the first time and did the same when he came out of the Club House turn and started up the backstretch.
“We had trouble with the bit,” said Drysdale, who has four San Juan victories to his credit. “We had the wrong bit on him. He ran dynamite considering Mike couldn’t steer him.”
Third, beaten a length in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf Charles Whittingham Stakes May 24, Going Somewhere was off at 3-5 and finished second, 1 ¼ lengths in front of Decisive Edge and paid $2.40 and $2.10.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Decisive Edge paid $3.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 25.17, 49.91, 1:14.65, 1:41.11 and 2:06.98.
Santa Anita’s 39-day Spring Meet drew to a close on Sunday and the track will re-open for live racing on Sept. 26. For more information, fans are encouraged to visit santaanita.com.