CALIFORNIA-BRED GERVINHO CARRIED WIDE AND PROVES BEST IN GRADE II, $200,000 SIR BEAUFORT STAKES, BEJARANO, GAINES TEAM FOR HEAD VICTORY

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2013)—Although he nearly clipped heels and was carried eight-deep turning for home, California-bred Gervinho kept to his task and proved best in Thursday’s Grade II, $200,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes, winning by a head over longshot Procurement while getting one mile on turf in 1:33.47.

Well back early in a field of nine, Gervinho sat mid pack early under confident handling from Rafael Bejarano.

“He took the path I wanted,” said winning trainer Carla Gaines. “I just told Rafael to settle into stride and make a run at the quarter pole on the outside. He did exactly as I asked, but someone got in his way (approaching the quarter pole). When the other horse (Si Sage) got in the way, I thought we were done, so I was so happy to see him re-rally.

“He’s such a big horse, he’s huge. He’s been delightful…We’ll see how he comes out of this, but obviously we would think about the Cal-bred race next month ($250,000, 1 1/8 miles turf California Cup Turf Classic).”

The third choice at 7-2, Gervinho paid $9.00, $4.80 and $3.60.

“I was in a great position, but then I saw the number one horse (Outside Nashville, with Martin Pedroza), he pushed the number 10 (Si Sage) really bad, so (Si Sage) crossed in front of me completely,” said Bejarano. “I almost clipped heels…After that, I had to get back and let him run again. He was definitely the best horse in the race today.”

A 3-year-old colt by Unusual Heat, Gervinho is owned by Santa Anita Park Chairman Keith Brackpool.

“Normally, when you win a race and there’s an inquiry, you’re sweating bullets,” said Brackpool. “I was a little nervous, but not much because we were taken out at the top of the stretch and frankly, I thought the race was over.

“How he recovered from that and went on to win is remarkable in a mile, Grade II race. It looked like he was spinning his wheels and he kept on going. It was very exciting.”

With the winner’s share of $120,000, Gervinho now has earnings of $422,140. His overall mark stands at 9-4-2-1.

Procurement, off at 16-1 and ridden by Joe Talamo, finished a nose in front of both Outside Nashville and Si Sage who dead heated for the show. Procurement paid $12.80 and $8.00.

There was a stewards’ inquiry into afore mentioned infraction committed by Outside Nashville, and as a result, he was disqualified from third and place fourth, behind Si Sage, who was ridden by David Flores.

Si Sage, off at 42-1, paid $13.40 to show.

Fractions on the race, most of which were set by longshot Horizontalyspeakin, were 23 flat, 45.19, 1:08.70 and 1:21.03.

First post time for an eight-race card at Santa Anita on Friday is 12:30 p.m.