ON-TRACK CROWD OF 46,514 COMES OUT FOR FOUR GRADED STAKES UNDER IDYLIC CONDITIONS
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2014)–Breaking from the inside in a field of nine sophomore sprinters, Mind Your Biscuits sat a close third under Joel Rosario a quarter mile from home and overhauled Sharp Azteca late to take Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita by a half-length as he covered seven furlongs in 1:20.81. Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths here in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5, Mind Your Biscuits, who is trained by Robert Falcone, Jr., posted his fourth win from nine starts this year.
Although Mind Your Biscuits returned to his Belmont Park base following the Breeders’ Cup (in which he was subsequently awarded second money due to the medical disqualification of runner-up Masochistic), he returned to Santa Anita to drill a bullet half mile in 47.20 on Dec. 18 and the sharp drill obviously served him well in the Malibu.
Although favored on the morning line, he was off as the second choice at 7-2 and paid $9.40, $5.00 and $3.20.
Owned by J Stables, Head of Plains Partners, LLC, Summers, Summers, Kisber and Summers, the New York-bred colt by Posse improved his overall mark to 13-4-4-3. With the winner’s share of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $675,366.
Ridden by Edgard Zayas, Sharp Azteca showed good speed throughout and was second best on the day, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of favored Ten Blessings. Off at 4-1, Sharp Azteca paid $5.00 and $3.40.
One of three Bob Baffert-trained runners, Ten Blessings, with Rafael Bejarano up, was mid-pack early and was third turning for home, but never threatened the top two. Off at 8-5, he paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.16, 43.80 and 1:08.10.
Monday’s Winter Meet opening day crowd of 46,514 was up from last year’s 44,873. Total pari-mutuel handle of $18,363,495 was up roughly $900,000 over last year’s $17,406,122.
CALIFORNIA-BRED BETTYS BAMBINO TAKES GRADE III SAN SIMEON BY 2 ¼ LENGTHS UNDER ROSARIO
Earlier in the day, Bettys Bambino overcame a 22 month layoff to register a 2 ¼ length win in the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes, which was contested at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. A 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Unusual Heat, he got the distance in 1:11.95. Off at 6-1 in a field of 12 three year olds and up, he paid $15.80, $7.80 and $5.20.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, trained by Peter Eurton and owned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Bettys Bambino was bred by Sharon Alesia, Joe Ciaglia and Mellen.
Ridden by Norberto Arroyo, Jr., Stormy Liberal finished second at 6-1 and paid $8.20 and $5.40.
Favored at 4-1 with Victor Espinoza up, Richard’s Boy paid $3.60 to show.
Fractions on the San Simeon were 21.60, 43.36 and 1:05.95.