D’AMATO RUNS 1-2 AS LONGSHOT SIDEPOCKET RUN COMPLETES EXACTA IN GOLDEN STATE SERIES FIXTURE FOR OLDER FILLIES & MARES BRED OR SIRED IN CALIFORNIA
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 23, 2015)–Nick Alexander’s homebred Sunday Rules kept her perfect record intact with a facile three length win in Saturday’s $150,000 Spring Fever Stakes, as she covered six furlongs in gate to wire fashion under Tyler Baze in 1:08.93. (The Spring Fever was the first of five Golden State Series races run Saturday at Santa Anita for horses bred or sired in California).
Conditioned by Phil D’Amato, the 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Tribal Rule now has five wins from as many starts. Heavily favored at 1-5 in a field of six older fillies and mares, she paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. With the winner’s share of $90,000, she increased her earnings to $314, 880.
“Nice filly,” said an emphatic Baze. “She runs with her head a little low but…she’s not real fast that first jump out of the gate, but after that she’s a monster. She’s a train really, she just goes. Those first strides, she just needs to get her feet up under her but then she’s really just a train.”
Pressed early by Tribal Gal, Sunday Rules carved out fractions of 21.60, 44.11 and 56.13.
“That was like two wins,” said D’Amato, whose longshot Sidepocket Run was up to take second by a nose, thus enabling the trainer to run 1-2. “Sunday Rules couldn’t be doing any better right now. I just think it’s a combination of getting over her little baby issues and now, hopefully, I’ll be able to map out a nice campaign for the future. She’ll definitely stay sprinting.”
Alexander, who’s homebred Grazen is based at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and is currently one of California’s top stallions, is a longtime breeder/owner in California who is best known locally as the owner of Nick Alexander (automotive) Imports in Los Angeles, whose advertising catch phrase is “Nick Can’t Say No.”
“We are blessed to have horses as we do in Santa Ynez and to be able to race them here at Santa Anita,” said Alexander. “What a pleasant surprise she’s been. She’s very plain looking and you’d never pick her out of a group of horses in a pasture. The way she runs with her neck low…Nothing bothers her. There is a graded stakes in in Florida this coming July that we might take a look at.”
Off at 35-1, Sidepocket Run, who was ridden by Tiago Pereira, paid $13.60 and $4.40.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Tribal Gal finished third, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Meinertzhageni. Off at 6-1, Tribal Gal paid $3.40 to show.