ODDS-ON FAVORITE KENTUCKIAN STEADIES SHARPLY GOING TO FAR TURN AND RUNS THIRD
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 12, 2015)–Longshot Yiannis showed good speed and motored to a 1 ¼ length win in Sunday’s $75,000 San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Victor Espinoza, Yiannis came out and brushed with runner-up Serbian Syclone approaching the sixteenth pole, but survived a stewards inquiry to get the win in only his second start.
A nose maiden special weight winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 31, the Kentucky-bred ridgling by Midshipman was off at 7-1 in a field of eight sophomores and paid $17.80, $7.60 and $3.60. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, he was purchased out of a 2-year-old in training sale in March, 2014 for $560,000. With the winner’s share of $47,400, he increased his earnings to $81,000.
“It looked like the other horse was getting a little a tired, so I didn’t think he was going by us,” said Sadler in defense of the stewards’ verdict. “The race he won has turned out to be a very productive race. We knew this was a pretty big jump in class, but the timing worked out well and he came into this a fresh horse.”
Espinoza, who rode top Derby candidate American Pharoah to a sensational win in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby, notched his second win of the day aboard Yiannis.
“He broke a step slow and I had to send him, but as soon as we had the lead, it was over,” said Espinoza. “I was a little nervous during the inquiry at one point, but then I watched the replay and I felt confident. It was a little close, but we didn’t have any contact with Serbian Syclone.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, who had three winners earlier in the day, Serbian Syclone was off at 11-1 and paid $11.20 and $4.40.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Kentuckian came off of an 11 length first out maiden score at Golden Gate Fields and was the solid 3-5 favorite with Rafael Bejarano and paid $2.40 to show.
Breaking from post position two, Kentuckian layed third at the rail going into the far turn behind the winner and longshot Guy Code, had was forced to steady sharply at the three eighths pole and was shuffled back to fifth at that point.
“He broke good, but he was a little intimidated by the rail and I had to take up when we got pressure from the outside,” said Bejarano.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.