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QUICK ENOUGH FIGHTS BACK TO NOD AMAZOMBIE IN SENSATIONAL STAR AND CLINCH PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $126,305 INTO THURSDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2011) – Quick Enough reversed a setback by Amazombie when he gamely outdueled the 13-10 favorite on Sunday to capture Santa Anita’s $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap for California-breds by one-half length while traversing 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course in 1:13.52.
The mild upset by the 4-1 second choice assured a Pick Six carryover of $126,305 into Thursday when racing resumes at Santa Anita. The Pick Six carryover will be the sixth of the meet that has encompassed 41 days.
The Sensational Star quickly evolved into a two-horse race among the eight starters. With Patrick Valenzuela at the controls, Quick Enough took a short early lead as Amazombie and jockey Mike Smith tracked closely in second.
Amazombie, who had won 6 of 8 sprints since being gelded early last year, pulled alongside entering the stretch and appeared to put his nose in front. But Quick Enough, racing on the inside, tenaciously battled back to gain the decision.
In so doing, the 7-year-old gelding trained by Doug O’Neill gained a measure of revenge after finishing sixth, seven lengths behind his rival, when Amazombie took the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint over Santa Anita’s main track on Jan. 29.
“I always knew I had horse in this race,” Valenzuela said following his third victory of the afternoon. “I never hit my horse. I just hand rode him. He stuck his neck out and put everything into the race.”
O’Neill said he and Valenzuela spoke but briefly in the paddock preceding the race. “He even mentioned that it didn’t look like there was a lot of pace in here,” said O’Neill, “so being on the inside, he had to ask him to get good position.
“Patrick had it in his head that he was going to be forwardly placed. That first quarter went so easy, he just had enough horse that he was able to maintain that position (through the stretch).” The early splits were moderate for the hillside course: 22.89 and 45.48.
Dancing in Silks, winless in five starts since taking the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, finished third, two lengths behind Amazombie while making his first start for trainer Kathy Walsh. Garrett Gomez rode.
Quick Enough paid $10.60, $4.20 and $3.40. The prices on favored Amazombie were $3 and $2.60. Dancing in Silks paid $5 to show.
The victory by Quick Enough was his second in seven starts since being claimed for $40,000 by the partnership of Michael Bello, Russ Sarno and Pablo Suarez at Del Mar last Aug. 5.
His overall record became 8-5-3 in 19 career starts for earnings of $375,360. The son of High Brite’s record on turf became 5-3-1 in 11 races.
The Pick Six sequence on Thursday will begin with the third race. First post is at 1 p.m. Entries will be taken on Wednesday for Saturday’s 74th running of the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap.