BRINKERHOFF SCORES WITH FIRST-EVER SANTA ANITA STARTER IN RACE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED TO BE RUN AT 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2015)–Joe Parker’s homebred Our Pure Creation provided trainer Val Brinkerhoff with his first-ever Santa Anita Stakes win in Sunday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap. Shifted to the main track from the 6 ½ furlong downhill turf course due to morning rain, the 5-year-old California-bred mare by Pure Prize won by 1 ½ lengths under Fernando Perez while getting the distance in 1:16.13.
A close third behind dueling leaders Home Journey and Velvet Mesquite, Our Pure Creation overhauled 3-5 favorite Home Journey turning for home and had plenty left to hold off the late charge of runner up Kiss At Midnight.
Off at 6-1 in a field of six fillies and mares bred or sired in California, Our Pure Creation paid $15.20, $6.80 and $5.20.
“We were happy the race came off the grass this morning,” said Parker, who has bred and owned horses in California for 25 years. “I sold this mare’s mother (Creative Karen, by Smart Strike) in foal to Lucky Pulpit (sire of California Chrome) at the Barrett’s Winter Mixed Sale last January, so somebody’s got a lot to look forward to.
“I think we might look for a race at Del Mar and then back here this winter. She’s gonna be six years old, but Hughes (B. Wayne, owner of superstar mare Beholder) says he’s gonna run his mare at six, so I think I’ll follow his lead.”
Not only was Sunday’s Distaff Brinkerhoff’s first-ever Santa Anita stakes win, it was his first ever Santa Anita starter as well.
“Well, I was glad it came off the turf. Mike Puype’s horse, Home Journey, is a known (commodity) down the hill and we weren’t…We’ve had a long trip with her, I have to thank Mr. Parker for sticking with her through all this. They sent her to me over in Phoenix and she had a bit of a tendon on her so I started swimming her in the pool. We were two days away from stopping the swimming and we were going to breeze her but she got colic so we had to operate. Ten thousand dollars and seven months later, we got back to Del Mar to run.
“…That extra seven months off on that leg and it got better and better…That time off helped her, she blossomed.”
Under Alonso Quinonez, Kiss At Midnight rallied from next to last for the place and returned $5.20 and $4.60.
Off at 15-1 with Joe Talamo, Harlington’s Rose was fourth after a half mile and ran third, finishing 2 ¾ lengths in front of Home Journey. Harlington’s Rose paid $6.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.13, 45.00 and 1:09.58.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.