ARCADIA, Calif. (June 11, 2015)–Under patient handling from Flavien Prat, Brazilian-bred Baruta sat a perfect trip down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and went on to an impressive half length win in the track’s $60,000 allowance feature, covering 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:14.65.
Conditioned by Richard Mandella, Baruta sat second early behind Mark of a Gem, angled four-wide at the dirt crossing turning for home and overtook eventual third place finisher Kool Kat a furlong out.
“I had a good trip,” said Prat, who got his 21st overall win and his sixth from 25 in combination with Mandella at the current Spring Meet. “Usually she can be a little aggressive, but today the pace was good so I kept her covered and she was more relaxed. At the end, she finished very well.”
Off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares three and up, Baruta paid $6.00, $3.00 and $2.20. Owned by her breeder, Rio Dois Irmaos, LLC, the 6-year-old mare notched her first win from six tries down the hill and improved her overall mark to 17-4-6-3. With the winner’s share of $36,000, she hiked her earnings to $186,508.
“I needed that, I’ve got confidence now going into the weekend,” said Mandella, who will saddle two-time Eclipse Champ Beholder in Saturday’s Grade III Adoration Stakes and Bal a Bali in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Rattataptap flew from off the pace to finish second, one length in front of Kool Kat. The narrow second choice at 2-1, Rattataptap paid $4.00 and $2.10.
Kook Kat, who charged up the rail to wrest the lead from Mark of a Gem leaving the half mile pole, was no match for Rattataptap late and finished third, 1 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Meeting Waters. Off at 5-1, Kool Kat paid $2.80 to show.
First post time on Friday is 4 p.m. Admission gates will open for simulcasting at 11 a.m.