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RAIL IS GOLDEN FOR NAKATANI, STARSPANGLED HEAT IN $58,700 SILENCE IS GOLDEN PURSE VICTORY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2012) – After missing by one-half length in his first two tries over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, Starspangled Heat got the job done by a head Friday in the featured $58,700 Silence Is Golden Purse for California-breds at 6 ½ furlongs.
Explaining that the 4-year-old son of Unusual Heat “got pushed out the last time he came down the hill,” jockey Corey Nakatani took the shortest route home with a rail-skimming trip upon rallying from last in the field of seven.
“I didn’t want to get him stopped and there was room along the rail,” said Nakatani after his mount covered the distance in 1:13.47.
Circa’sgoldengear, who closed strongly on the outside, got up for second, a nose in front of Star Nicholas with pace-setter Earnednevergiven another neck back in the driving four-horse finish.
Barry Abrams, who trains the homebred for Madeline Auerbach and Vincenzo Loverso, ran Starspangled Heat back just six days after he had finished fourth going one mile on Santa Anita’s Camino Real turf course.
“He didn’t really run hard the other day,” Abrams said of the quick turnaround, an unorthodox approach he has used with success in the past.
As the 17-10 favorite, Starspangled Heat paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.40. Circa’sgoldengear, handled by Rafael Bejarano, paid $5.80 and $3.60. Star Nicholas, with Joel Rosario aboard, paid $3.40 to show.
The winning purse of $34,800 increased the earnings of the chestnut gelding to $128,010 from an overall record of 2-2-3 in 13 starts.
Earlier on the program, trainer Doug O’Neill won with each of the three horses he had entered, all heavy favorites: Runaway Wildcat ($3.80) in the first race; Candy and Thunder ($3.20) in the fourth, and Brown Is Beige ($4.20) in the fifth.
Amazombie, the champion sprinter of 2011, makes his 2012 debut in the Grade II San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs on Saturday when facing The Factor, sizzling winner of the Grade I Malibu Stakes on opening day, Dec. 26. The San Carlos is the seventh race on a program of nine races with first post at 12:30 p.m.