PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $34,949 INTO SATURDAY, TOTAL POOL COULD EXCEED $250,000
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2014)–Ridden by Joe Talamo, Songforjohnmichael unleashed an eye- catching turn of foot through the lane en route to a 6 ¼ length victory in Friday’s $58,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita, covering a mile and a quarter in 2:02.16.
Trained by Dan Hendricks, the 3-year-old California-bred gelding by Songandaprayer sat a comfortable fourth into the far turn and quickened noticeably leaving the three furlong pole.
“I chirped to him around the turn and he just jumped into the bridle,” said Talamo, who racked up his third win of the day. “He’s got a lot of speed, but he settled great today. We kind of idled to the quarter pole and then he just took off. He’s a different horse from when I rode him the last time (a sixth place finish in a maiden $40,000 claimer at Santa Anita June 19). He ran a huge race today.”
The second choice in a field of seven at 2-1, Songforjohnmichael paid $6.20, $4.20 and $2.80. Owned by RL Stables, he notched his third win from seven starts. With the winner’s share of $45,240, he more that doubled his earnings to $88,430.
“We gelded him after his second start (a well beaten fourth in a maiden special weight on Nov. 22, 2013 at Hollywood Park) and a couple weeks after that he nearly died from complications internally,” said Hendricks. “That’s why he had such a long layoff (Nov. 22 to June 19). My son Greg’s been doing a great job getting on him every morning and he’s gained a lot of confidence in his last two races. He’s quieter and much more manageable. This was a big race.”
Ridden by Agapito Delgadillo, Image of Joplin broke from the rail and sat a close third behind pacesetter My Jealous through splits of 23.33, 47.35, 1:12.46 and 1:37.77, swung three wide turning for home and finished second by two lengths. The longest shot in the race at 27-1, he paid $17.60 and $7.80.
The actual favorite at 2-1, Valley Cat, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was last early and rallied through the stretch to finish third, paying $2.40 to show.
There is a Pick Six carryover into Saturday of $34,949. Saturday’s total Pick Six pool is expected to reach $250,000. First post time for a nine-race card is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.