PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $80,129 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL ‘SIX’ POOL EXPECTED TO APPROACH $500,000
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 25, 2015)–Longshot Si Sage stalked pacesetter Joes Blazing Aaron to the top of the stretch and went on to a convincing 3 ¼ length win under Elvis Trujillo in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Last Tycoon Stakes as he covered 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:02.08. Trained by Darrell Vienna, who fitted French-bred Si Sage with blinkers for the first time, Si Sage had shown promise on occasion but entered the Last Tycoon winless in 10 stateside starts.
“I rode him the time before his last race and I told Darrell that I thought he needed blinkers,” said Trujillo. “He breezed with blinkers and he breezed very well, so they wanted to keep them on. He’s from France so I think he’s used to the softer turf (which was the case today at Santa Anita as a result of light rain over an approximate two hour period leading into the Last Tycoon). We sat behind and he was ready to go in the stretch.”
The longest shot in a field of eight horses 3 and up, Si Sage was dispatched at 42-1 and paid $87.60, $26.00 and $10.80. Owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC, Rancho Temescal and Vayaconsuerte, LLC, the 5-year-old horse by the Johannesburg stallion Sageburg improved his overall mark to 23-4-6-2 and with the winner’s share of $60,000 increased his earnings to $255,450.
“I wasn’t actually looking at the fractions (23.93, 48.30, 1:13.12 and 1:37.84), I was watching him, and frankly, I was never worried,” said Vienna. “I thought he was always running pretty easily. I should say I was a little worried early when he was tugging, but after he settled on the turn, I felt pretty good and then I could see he wasn’t’ asking him at all, and then he did.”
Ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Richard Mandella, runner-up Ganesh was fourth turning for home and out-gamed Abbey Vale and Power Foot in a tight three-way photo to finish second by a nose. Off at 5-1, Brazilian-bred Ganesh paid $6.20 and $4.40.
“A mile and a half is probably what he wants, but he ran a nice race,” said Mandella of Ganesh, who ran fifth in his U.S. debut, the one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes on April 4. “He had a bit of traffic trouble…but I’m very happy to be coming along where we are.”
Irish-bred Abbey Vale, who attended the pace throughout along with Ganesh, bested Power Foot by a head for the show and paid $4.40 with Tiago Pereira up.
Ridden by Mike Smith, 8-5 favorite Big John B trailed throughout and was beaten by approximately 20 lengths.
“The grass was way too soft for him today,” said Smith. “He wasn’t even about to pick his feet up.”
In large measure due to Si Sage’s 42-1 upset in the Last Tycoon, there is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday at Santa Anita of $80,129. It is expected Sunday’s total Pick Six pool will approach $500,000.
First post time for an eight-race card Sunday, with the Pick Six to begin in race three, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.