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ADDED DISTANCE AIDS UPSETTER SNOWMASTER IN LONG WALK HOME PURSE AT 1 1/4 MILES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2010) – Rallying from last in a field of six, Darley Stable’s Snowmaster relished the added distance of Santa Anita’s $48,400 The Long Walk Home Purse on Thursday to capture the mile-and-one-quarter feature by 1 1/2 lengths over Mr. Hot Stuff.
Fourth choice at odds of 9-2 with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, Snowmaster provided noted Eastern trainer H. Graham Motion with his first victory from eleven starters at the Santa Anita meet on its 27th day.
A 4-year-old son of Maria's Mon bred by Stonerside Stable, Snowmaster had come up short in two previous starts at the meeting when finishing third at one mile on turf and fourth over 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
He rallied widest of all on Thursday to overcome tepid fractions and complete the distance in 2:02.80.
“The main thing was I wanted to be patient with this horse,” said Bejarano. “Going to the far turn, I saw the favorite (Never, ridden by Garrett Gomez) move, and I wanted to wait and keep my horse covered up. When we came into the stretch, I took my time and let him switch leads. He finished really good.”
Never, who pressed the early pace set by longshot Oliver, held on for third, one-half length behind Mr. Hot Stuff, who split horses under Joe Talamo for the place.
The winner paid $11.80, $4.80 and $2.80. The prices on Mr. Hot Stuff, third in last year’s Santa Anita Derby, were $3.80 and $2.60. Never paid $2.40 to show.
The victory was the second in eight starts for Snowmaster, who had broken his maiden last October at Keeneland while going 1 1/8 miles. The winning purse of $28,800 increased his career earnings to $94,840.
On Friday, Santa Anita continues with another of its popular “Free Fridays” programs. General Admission is free and box seats may be secured without charge on a first come, first served basis. There is a $1 charge for hot dogs, beer, sodas, popcorn and coffee. The eight-race program commences at 1 p.m.