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RICHARD'S KID SOARS HOME ALONG THE RAIL IN SAN ANTONIO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2010) – An owner and jockey change notwithstanding, Richard’s Kid resorted to what he does best when storming from far behind Sunday to capture Santa Anita’s 72nd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Antonio Handicap.
With Garrett Gomez aboard, the 8-5 favorite exhibited a remarkable burst of late speed while finding an avenue along the rail to prevail in a blanket finish and defeat longshot Dakota Phone by a head while racing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.05.
Purchased privately by Zabeel Racing International following a sixth-place finish behind Zenyatta in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic, the return of Richard’s Kid was reminiscent of his soaring finish when scoring a 24-1 upset in Del Mar’s $1 million Pacific Classic last September.
He was last in a field of 11 turning for home on Sunday. “I stayed down inside with him because there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it,” recounted Gomez. “Nobody was really stopping today, so the only way we were going to overcome that was to save ground. He’s got a great kick.”
The kick demonstrated by the son of Lemon Drop Kid toppled the quest by Dakota Phone to end a 10-race losing streak after momentarily looking to have seized the opportunity under Martin Garcia at odds of 34-1.
Philatelist, at 18-1 with Rafael Bejarano seeking his fourth win of the afternoon, finished third, another head behind and one-half length ahead of fourth-place finisher Pick Six and jockey Victor Espinoza who went off at 25-1.
Mast Track, the 9-2 third choice, set a moderate pace with Mike Smith in the saddle and led into the stretch before grudgingly giving way and falling back to sixth. Furthest Land, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 7, wound up fifth, about a length behind Richard’s Kid, while racing extremely wide at odds of 4-1. Nownownow, sent off at 9-2, was never a threat, finishing eighth.
“They were going slow and he was getting a little rank,” said trainer Bob Baffert in analyzing the performance by Richard’s Kid. “He was way back there. The pace was the deciding factor, and you can’t really change his style. He just shot through there.”
The winner paid $5.20, $3.40 and $3. Dakota Phone returned $21.40 and $10.80. Philatelist paid $7.80 to show.
Purchased by Arnold Zetcher prior to the Pacific Classic stunner, Richard’s Kid raced three times for Zetcher before being sold to the Zabeel Racing stable of Dubai resident Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammad al Maktoum.
The 5-year-old bay next is ticketed to be shipped to Dubai to compete in the Dubai World Cup on March 27. His new owner realized $90,000 on Sunday, which elevated the earnings of Richard’s Kid to $891,370 from an overall record of 7-2-5 in 22 starts.
Following dark days on Monday and Tuesday, Santa Anita begins a six-day racing week with an eight-race program that commences at 1 p.m. The week will continue through the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday of the following week.