VERSATILE ALERT BAY RETURNS TO TURF TO UPSET IN GRADE II, $200,000 MATHIS BROTHERS MILE; CALIFORNIA-BRED GELDING BY CITY ZIP WINS BY A NECK IN DRIVING FINISH OVER HOME RUN KITTEN

 

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ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2014)–In a driving finish, versatile Alert Bay, ridden by Tyler Baze, was all heart in winning Friday’s Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) at Santa Anita by a neck while getting the distance in 1:35.06. Trained by Blaine Wright, the gutsy California-bred gelding returned to Southern California following a three length win on dirt in New Mexico’s Zia Park Derby on Nov. 26 and registered his fourth consecutive win.

“I’m really confident in this horse, the horse is just amazing,” said Baze. “…he’s proven everybody wrong. The horse never gets the respect he deserves…A couple times when we ran second or third (earlier this year) we had a bit of a rough trip, but today I was happy when the horse inside me broke slow…He always give a 150 percent.”

Off at 9-1 in a field of ten 3-year-olds, Alert Bay outfinished Home Run Kitten and paid $20.40, $9.20 and $6.80. Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd., he won for the second time in four starts on turf and improved his overall record to 12-7-4-1. With the winner’s share of $120,000 he hiked his earnings to $617,207.

“The horse runs on any surface,” said Wright. “We found out that he’s a good shipper. We’re based at Golden Gate so when there’s a good race, we’ve got to go. We’ve tried to space his races out a month or more and he puts up with the training and shipping.

“I was worried when Tyler had to ease him back a bit (on the far turn) but he looked like he was still going easy and he’s proven over this turf course here. If this horse is doing well, I would love to come back for the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (Grade I, turf, on March 7).”

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Home Run Kitten, off at 9-2, just missed the win and finished a length in front of longshot Awesome Return. Home Run Kitten paid $5.80 and $4.60.

California-bred Awesome Return, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, was off at 17-1 and paid $8.20 to show.