ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2014)–Pure Tactics made an unexpected lead and never looked back in winning Sunday’s $75,000 Lure Stakes by 6 ½ lengths under Rafael Bejarano. Trained by Leandro Mora, the 5-year-old Texas-bred horse set fractions of 23.85, 46.60, 1:09.81 and 1:21.40 en route to a final clocking of 1:33.22.
“I told Rafael to sit second or third, but he broke by himself and Raffy just decided to keep him comfortable and stay where he was on the lead,” said Mora, who is filling-in for his suspended boss, Doug O’Neill. “That was a really smart ride from a rider who knows what to do in any situation. He ran huge.”
Overlayed at 7-2 in a field of eight, Pure Tactics paid $9.40, $5.20 and $3.40. Owned by Douglas and Anita Cole’s Nita Winner stable, Pure Tactics notched his eighth win from 19 starts and his third from six tries at one mile on turf. With the winner’s share of $46,440, he increased his earnings to $313,606.
“I didn’t expect to go to the lead, but when Mike (Smith, aboard 2-1 second choice Boyett) didn’t go on, I took control of the race and by the three eighths pole it was done. I had so much horse then that I was just galloping. I stood up the last sixteenth because I knew no one was coming and I didn’t want to use him too much.”
Residents of Prescott, Wisconsin, the Coles had never been to Santa Anita.
“We expected great things, but this experience has far exceeded all expectations,” said Douglas Cole. “The facility, the people, the racing and the setting here with the mountains in the background–I’m more excited than I can explain.”
Second place finisher Power Ped, off at 11-1 with Tyler Baze, sat an attentive fourth to the eighth pole and overhauled Boyett and Hay Dude late while holding off a late finishing Starspangled Heat. Power Ped paid $9.60 and $5.20.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Starspangled Heat was mid-pack into the far turn and hugged the rail to finish third by a nose over 9-5 favorite Hay Dude. Off at 7-1, Starspangled Heat paid $4.20 to show.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Hay Dude never threatened for the win.
“I had a perfect trip, I just got out-run,” said Talamo. “He was laying perfect, I got him out turning for home, but they just quickened away from him.”
Santa Anita will embark upon a special five-day week on Wednesday, with first post time at 1 p.m. The two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be run for an unprecedented third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday. The 25-day Autumn Meet will conclude on Sunday.