MASSIVE TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $407,077 INTO FRIDAY, TOTAL POOL EXPECTED TO EXCEED $1.5 MILLION
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 26, 2014)–A Group I winner in her native Argentina, Ron McAnally’s Miss Serendipity, with Brice Blanc up, notched her first stateside win in a big way Monday at Santa Anita, winning the Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes by a nose over well-fancied Emollient and Rosie Napravnik, while covering 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.22.
With longshot Rhagori and Emollient running one-two through fractions of 23.94, 47.31, 1:10.75 and 1:34.20, Miss Serendipity sat a close fourth, two off the rail, accelerated when asked approaching the quarter pole and in a desperate finish was just up on the wire.
Second, beaten a neck in the Grade III Santa Barbara Handicap on April 13, Miss Serendipty was making her fifth Southern California start in the Gamely.
“My mare has been improving with each race,” said Blanc, who rode her for the third consecutive time on Monday. “She just needed to get acclimated. She was aggressive her first few races and they wanted to try and change that style…I watched her replays before I ever rode her and she’s always impressed me.”
Off at 13-1 in a field of nine fillies and mares, Miss Serendipity paid $29.80, $10.00 and $6.20. A 6-year-old mare, she is owned by her breeder, Enselmo E. Cavalieri. With the Gamely win, her record now stands at 24-6-6-3. With the winner’s share of $180,000, she improved her earnings to $373,358.
Although Trevor Denman opined that “It looked like Miss Serendipity, the result was very much in doubt until the photo was examined.”
“I wasn’t sure whether she got beat or not,” said McAnally. “She’s got a good disposition and everything about her was good and she finally put it all together. She wasn’t really doing well the first few races. She had long hair…We did clip her and when we did, she had little bumps all over her and they all went away. She looks great right now.”
A three-time Grade I winner, Emollient stalked pacesetting Rhagori to the quarter pole, opened up a 1 ½ length advantage a furlong out and was a bit erratic close-home.
“I was full of horse the whole way but she really hangs when she gets out front,” said Napravnik, who flew in from Kentucky to ride the 4-year-old Empire Maker filly for the first time. “She ducked when I got her with the stick and she was a little bit all over the place in the stretch. She’s super talented. I just think it’s more of having to trick her into doing the right thing.”
Trained by Bill Mott and the second choice at 3-1, Emollient paid $5.20 and $3.60.
An impressive winner of the Grade III, one mile turf Wilshire Stakes in her Southern California debut April 27, Parranda was off as the 2-1 favorite with Corey Nakatani and made a belated rally to finish third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Emollient.
“She ran a big race last time but the pace and conditions were different today,” said Nakatani. “The pace was a little softer today and the course is softer too. They were going too easy midway and that hurt my chances.”
Parranda, who finished 1 ½ lengths clear of Stormy Lucy, paid $3.20 to show.
Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday and there is a two-day carryover into the Pick Six of $407,077. Friday’s total Pick Six pool is expected to exceed $1.5 million. First post time on Friday is at 3 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.