REFORMED CLAIMER CUDDLE ALERT SPRINGS SURPRISE IN $100,000 SPRING FEVER HANDICAP, WINNING BY A HEAD UNDER DELGADILLO WHILE GETTING SIX FURLONGS IN 1:09.86; MARE GIVES SALDANA HER FIRST STAKES WINNER

 

RACE IS PART OF GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED FILLIES & MARES

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2017)–Longshot Cuddle Alert, claimed for $10,000 this past August, rallied late to take Sunday’s $100,000 Spring Fever Handicap at Santa Anita by a head under Agapito Delgadillo while getting six furlongs in 1:09.86.  Trained by Melissa Saldana, the 6-year-old California-bred mare by Bedford Falls registered her first stakes win in her 21st career start.

Breaking from the rail in a field of five California-bred or sired fillies and mares, Cuddle Alert was a close fourth while under restraint at the half mile pole, rallied three-wide turning for home and overhauled both heavily favored Sunday Rules and pacesetter Late ‘n Left well inside the sixteenth pole to win.

“I’m a little sore,” said Delgadillo, who was unseated during the running of Sunday’s second race.  “My collarbone is a little sore, the same one that I’ve broken twice already but it’s nothing big…She always finishes well.  I knew she likes to run in the stretch, so I waited for it.”

A close fourth down the hillside turf course in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint here on Jan. 28, Cuddle Alert was dispatched at 8-1 and paid $18.40, $6.60 and $2.60.

Owned by Reed Saldana and Leopoldo Urbina, she collected $60,000 for the win, boosting her career earnings to $229,000.  Her overall mark now stands at 21-6-1-7.

“I can’t put it into words, to be honest,” said Melissa Saldana, who, along with her horse, collected her first career stakes win.  “She’s special.  She’s very, very special.  The stretch run was awesome.  She had to sit much closer than she usually does so she ended up going quicker than what she’s used to.  She still had that final kick though and just got up…

“We’ll probably give her about 30 days before we run her again because I think she does better with a little more time…She gives her all every time that we ask her to come out here.”

Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Late ‘n Left set fractions of 21.93, 45.01 and 57.19.  Off at 9-1, she paid $7.60 and $3.00.

Sunday Rules, who had been idle since July 4, tried to rally while between the winner and runner-up, but was third best under Tyler Baze.  Off at 2-5, she paid $2.10 to show.

The Spring Fever Handicap is part of the lucrative Golden State Series for California bred or sired horses.