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MAJESTIC HARBOR ROLLS TO BIG WIN IN MARATHON GRADE III, $100,000 TOKYO CITY CUP, BAZE & MCCARTHY TEAM FOR THREE LENGTH VICTORY; ON-TRACK CROWD OF 16,179 WITNESS TOP RACING & JAPANESE CULTURAL EVENTS
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $92,562 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL POOL COULD REACH $750,000
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 29, 2014)—With Tyler Baze at the controls, Majestic Harbor seized control going to the three eighths pole in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup, opening up an insurmountable lead around the far turn and prevailed in the 1 ½ miles marathon by three lengths in 2:29.97.
Trained by Sean McCarthy, Majestic Harbor broke from post eight in a field of eight older horses and settled into a comfortable fourth under the wire for the first time, about six lengths off the lead as Segway and favored Blueskiesnrainbows dueled on the lead.
“I let him find his own pace today,” said Baze. “When he hit his stride and was clicking along smooth, I just let him gallop by everybody and when he decided it was time to go, it was time to go. I wasn’t going to wait around for somebody to come up to us. He’s getting it all together now so maybe this will change his heart.”
Fourth in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles San Antonio Stakes Feb. 8, Majestic Harbor was the fourth choice in the wagering at 5-1 and paid $13.60, $6.60 and $4.20.
“I was really pleased at the fractions (23.45, 46.70, 1:12.22, 1:38.11 and 2:03.33),” said McCarthy. “He settled well in the first turn. When he went by the wire the first time, he was in perfect position on the outside. This horse likes being on the outside and left alone and Tyler just had him in a perfect rhythm.
“That was the key, really. You’re going a mile and a half for the first time, you’re never sure if you’re going to get the distance, but to get that distance, you’d better settle down and get into a good rhythm and that’s exactly what he did.”
A 6-year-old horse by Rockport Harbor, Majestic Harbor, owned by Gallant Stables, LLC, picked up his fifth win from 21 starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $331,764.
Although he broke sharply from the rail, Ever Rider, ridden by Victor Espinoza, rated kindly in the short run to the far turn, had two horses beat as the field came under the wire the first time, saved ground throughout while rallying to be second, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Segway and Gary Stevens.
Off at 13-1, Ever Rider paid $11.60 and $7.00.
Segway, who broke from post four, was intent on pressuring Blueskiesnrainbows and Corey Nakatani early and showed the way until overtaken by the winner going to the three furlong marker.
“He ran super, the first half was just too fast,” said Stevens. The second choice at 3-1, Segway paid $4.20 to show.
The solid favorite at 2-1, Blueskiesnrainbows was spent with a half mile to run and finished fifth, beaten about 14 ½ lengths.
“Around the first turn I think he might have over-reached and (grabbed) a quarter,” said Nakatani. “And that affected the way he was traveling and they’ll get him back to the barn and make sure he’s okay.”
An outstanding on-track crowd of 16,179 was on-hand for a nine-race program and a full schedule of Japanese cultural events.
For his part, when trainer McCarthy was queried as to where he’d go from the Tokyo City Cup, he responded, “To get a beer.”
There is a Pick Six carryover of $92,562 into Sunday at Santa Anita and it’s expected the total pool could reach $750,000. First post time for a nine-race program is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.