ARCADIA, Calif. (April 20, 2012) – After finishing sixth in Grade I and Grade II stakes races, Blingo returned to turf, the surface of his maiden debut victory, and remained unbeaten over grass footing on Friday with a hard-fought triumph in Santa Anita’s $76,500 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
Under a busy ride by Mike Smith, Blingo made good on his 3-5 favoritism by rallying to defeat Vibrato Jazz by one-half length with Buffalo Billy gaining third, another length back, after veering in at the start. The final time was 1:47.58.
“He was a tad slow at the start,” Smith said afterward. “Then they kept slowing it down in front of him.” Tiz Point, the 3-1 second choice, took the field of five through modest fractions of 23.42, 48.24 and 1:12.14 before fading to last. “I didn’t want to make an early move,” said Smith, “but I had to.”