ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2104)–With the temporary rail set at 30 feet, Peace and Justice erupted on the front end around the Club House turn and despite staying on his left lead in deep stretch, held on to take a hard-earned head victory in Friday’s $65,000 Quasar Purse under Brice Blanc, getting one mile on turf in 1:32.36.
Trained by John Shirreffs, the 4-year-old War Front colt appeared to be in deep water a furlong out, as favored Di Giorgio, with Gary Stevens up, had a full head of steam but Peace and Justice fought gamely to the wire to just prevail.
The narrow 9-5 second choice in the seven-horse Quasar, a third condition allowance for older horses, Peace and Justice paid $5.80, $3.40 and $2.60.
“I was hoping he would relax a little more,” said Blanc, who registered his third win in two days. “He’s really aggressive, he’s a raw diamond. He’s got a lot of speed, a lot of natural speed and he’s very stubborn. You can’t force him to do anything.”
Owned by Justice Family Racing, LLC, Peace and Justice was a first-out maiden winner going a mile over a yielding turf on June 12 at Belmont Park and he came off a big gate to wire allowance win going a mile on the Santa Anita lawn Jan. 5.
“He never switched leads, the whole way around,” said Shirreffs. “Brice said he was so keen he never took time to switch leads. On the gallop out, Brice relaxed a bit and he just switched on over to his right lead, so he’s got a long way to go.”
With the winner’s share of $39,000, Peace and Justice hiked his earnings to $125,728. He now has three wins from five starts.
The actual favorite at 9-5, Argentine-bred Di Giorgio sat a comfortable second the entire trip and at one point was 10 lengths behind the winner after the first half mile–and looked to many to be a winner turning for home.
Di Giorgio paid $3.20 and $2.40.
A distant fifth early, Outside Nashville, the third choice at 9-2 with Rafael Bejarano, finished 1 ½ lengths behind Di Giorgio and paid $2.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.47, 44.55, 1:08.05 and 1:20.20.
Racing resumes on Saturday at Santa Anita. First post time is 12:30 p.m., with admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.