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IRISH ART DOMINANT WINNER OF UNIFORMITY STAKES TO GIVE ROSARIO THIRD OF FOUR RIDING VICTORIES ON SUNDAY’S CARD
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 23, 2011) – Little matter that Irish Art showed only a maiden win routing in four previous starts, he was bet down to 7-5 favoritism, and the son of Artie Schiller made his supporters look good with a dominant 3 ¼-length victory in Sunday’s $75,840 Uniformity Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
With Joel Rosario notching his third of four riding wins on the afternoon, Irish Art tracked pacesetter Shred the Secrets, overtook him entering the stretch and drew clear under a hand ride while running the distance in 1:11.62.
Luckarack, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, rallied for second, one-half length in front of Shred the Secrets and jockey Patrick Valenzuela in the field of eight.
“Look at him,” exclaimed winning trainer Carla Gaines afterward. “It looks like he didn’t even run. He took to the course like a duck to water.”
After finishing seventh in his racing debut at six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on July 9, Irish Art routed three times with a pair of seconds surrounding his maiden victory at 1 1/16 miles over Del Mar’s turf course on Sept. 2.
Gaines, who trains the bay colt for Warren B. Williamson, said her biggest concern about Irish Art’s first sprint start over Santa Anita unique hillside layout was having drawn the rail. “As it turned out, it wasn’t an issue,” she said.
“He ran a very good race down the hill,” said Rosario. “I don’t know how good the competition was, but he ran a really good race. In the race where he broke his maiden, he went right to the lead, but there was a lot of speed that day. Today, he stuck close to the pace, so I think he can do whatever he wants to do.”
Gaines said she wasn’t sure what might be next for Irish Art, but noted that he is nominated to Hollywood Park’s Grade I Hollywood Derby at 1 ¼ miles on turf on Nov. 27.
Irish Art paid $4.80, $3.60 and $3 for his Uniformity victory. The mutuels on Luckarack were $6.20 and $4.80. Shred the Secrets paid $5.80 to show. The winning purse of $41,130 elevated the earnings of Irish Art to $101,480.
Following three dark days, racing at Santa Anita resumes on Thursday with an eight-race program that gets underway at 1 p.m.