ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 23, 2014)–Favored Scooter Bird overcame a lethargic pace to easily win Thursday’s $65,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita, winning by 4 ¾ lengths under Corey Nakatani while covering 1 ½ miles on turf in 2:28.82.
With Mike Smith calling the early shots aboard second choice Bunairgead through fractions of 25.19, 49.87, 1:15.48, 1:40.97 and 2:05.20, Scooter Bird appeared to have a tall order as she sat fourth in a field of five into the far turn, but Nakatani bided his time at the rail and found a seam three-wide into the stretch and took command a furlong out.
“She ran dynamite,” said Nakatani. “I knew Mike had slowed it down pretty good, but the whole key with my filly is getting her to switch off, getting her to relax. She did and she ran great.”
Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC and trained by John Sadler, Scooter Bird was off at 4-5 and paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.10. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by War Pass, she won for the third time in her last four starts (all with Nakatani up) and improved her overall record to 16-4-0-4. With the winner’s share of $39,000, she increased her earnings to $194,650.
The longest shot in the race at 25-1, Luvly Rita, with Saul Arias up, sat second throughout and held off Irish Presence late to finish second by a half length. She paid $11.00 and $4.40.
Ridden by Fernando Perez, Irish Presence was off at 5-1 and paid $2.60 to show.
Bunairgead, off at 9-5, tired badly the final furlong and finished fourth.
First post time on Friday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.