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BRAZILIAN IMPORT FLUKE PROVES WORTHY IN LONETREE PURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 18, 2009) – Fluke, a leading 3-year-old last year in Brazil who disappointed when favored in his United States debut for trainer Bobby Frankel, rebounded stylishly Wednesday with a dominant wire-to-wire victory in Santa Anita’s $57,936 Lonetree Purse, a first condition allowance at one mile on turf.
With national riding leader Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Fluke finished one length ahead of comebacking Globetrotter while covering the distance in a sprightly 1:33.63. Temple City, the tepid 5-2 choice in a field of nine, checked in third, 1 ¾ lengths behind the runner-up.
Owned by Patricia Bozano, Fluke won his first two starts in Brazil last year by a combined 13 ¾ lengths. Included was a Group 3 stakes race. An odds-on favorite in a Group 1 event last May, he ran second before being shipped to the U.S. late last year.
Fluke was the 2-1 favorite in his local debut on Jan. 18, but he was rank during the early running of the one-mile turf competition and wound up fifth under Gomez without seriously threatening.
He was much more relaxed on Wednesday when sent to the early lead while the early fractions read 23.22 and 46.52. Fluke briefly relinquished the early lead to Victorian Prince on the backside, but regained control when asked and finished strongly through the stretch.
As the second choice, Fluke paid $7.60, $5.80 and $4.40. Globetrotter, ridden by Patrick Husbands, returned $23.40 and $10.20. The show price on Temple City, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, was $3.20.
Globetrotter’s effort was impressive in that the race was his first since November of 2007 in Canada where he had been a promising 2-year-old with a victory in the Group 3 Grey Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse.
Fluke’s winning purse of $33,600 on Wednesday increased his earnings from five lifetime starts to $65,048.
Meanwhile, a single winning ticket in the Pick Six was worth $657,949 after four double-digit winners in the sequence included a riding double by jockey Brice Blanc aboard winners that paid $23 and $25.60.
The single winning ticket was purchased for just $32.00 at the Lancaster, Ca. simulcast center.
Racing will resume on Thursday at Santa Anita with an eight-race card that commences at 1 p.m.