Harris Farms Homebred Coalinga Road Rallies To Take $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic
HARRIS FARMS HOMEBRED COALINGA ROAD RALLIES TO TAKE $200,000 UNUSUAL HEAT TURF CLASSIC BY A NECK AS VELAZQUEZ & GAINES TEAM FOR 1 1/8 MILE TURF WIN IN 1:49.79
PRESENTED BY CITY NATIONAL BANK, RACE IS PART OF CTBA-SPONSORED GOLDEN STATE SERIES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2023)—In the final race of the day on California Cup Day Saturday at Santa Anita, one of the state’s longest and most successful Thoroughbred owner/breeders, John Harris, witnessed his homebred Coalinga Road rally to take the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic presented by City National Bank by neck under Hall of Famer John Velazquez. Trained by Carla Gaines, Coalinga Road got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:49.79.
The Unusual Heat Turf Classic is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
Content to stalk the early leaders into the first turn, Coalinga Road was fourth, about two off Kings River Knight with three quarters of a mile to run. Leaving the three furlong pole, Velazquez was on the move three-deep, gradually overtook Kings River Knight inside the sixteenth pole while prevailing over the onrushing Aligato and Luvluv on the money.
Bred and owned by Harris Farms, Inc., Coalinga Road, who had raced on dirt in his last two starts, most recently on Nov. 19 at Del Mar when third to the multiple stakes winning The Chosen Vron in the statebred Cary Grant Stakes at seven furlongs, was off at 3-1 in a field of eight older horses and paid $8.60, $4.20 and $3.20.
Out of the Johannesburg mare Coco Ecolo, Coalinga Road, in notching his first stakes win, improved his overall race record to 18-4-6-3. With the winner’s share of $110,000, he increased his earnings to $260,600.
Fifth at the rail early and tucked in just to the inside of the winner heading up the backside, Aligato stalked the leaders around the far turn, awaited room while two from the rail at the top of the lane and finished well to just miss under Flavien Prat.
Off at 5-2, Aligato, who found his best stride late, finished a neck in front of Luvluv and paid $4.00 and $3.00.
Last to the far turn, Luvluv, the longest shot in the field at 30-1 with Joe Bravo, flew late to be third, finishing a half length in front of early leader Kings River Knight and paid $7.80 to show.
Carmelita’s Man, the 2-1 favorite with Juan Hernandez, had no apparent excuses and finished seventh.
Fractions on the race were 24.39, 49.50, 1:13.87 and 1:37.86.