BIG RUNNEUR TAKES COMMAND EARLY AND SCOOTS TO 1 ¼ LENGTH WIN IN $75,000 SIREN LURE STAKES AS GARCIA & FUENTES TEAM FOR 5 ½ FURLONG TURF WIN IN 1:01.05
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 21, 2020)–After a brief head and head tussle for early supremacy, the Victor Garcia-trained Big Runneur gained the advantage three furlongs out and never relinquished it, prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths in Sunday’s $75,000 Siren Lure Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Ruben Fuentes, the 5-year-old horse by Stormy Atlantic got 5 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:01.05.
With an avalanche of late money coming his way, Big Runneur broke alertly from post position two and immediately engaged longshot Torosay, who broke from the rail. Head and head through an opening quarter mile of 21.28, Big Runneur enjoyed a half length edge at that point and widened around the turn as morning line favorite Sparky Ville, who had laid third early, could make no impact on the top two, leaving the winner with a 2 ½ length cushion at the top of the lane.
Running from off the pace, Big Runneur was a comfortable 1 ¾ length winner of a first condition allowance over the course May 25, and he ended up being the 8-5 post time favorite today, paying $5.40, $3.60 and $3.00.
“I thought there might be a question mark on how much speed the four-horse (Sparky Ville) was going to show today,” said Garcia. “He ran huge the other day (second by a nose in the Grade III Daytona Stakes May 23), but I told Ruben I think the one (Torosay) is going to go, so make sure you go with him. We put the blinkers on this horse last time and they’ve helped. He’s learning.”
Owned by Garcia’s father, former trainer “King Juan” Garcia, Big Runneur notched his first stakes win while getting his third victory from six overall starts. With the winner’s share of $49,260, Big Runneur increased his earnings to $133,660.
“He focuses a little more (with blinkers), said Fuentes, who is now three for four with Big Runneur. “He is certainly more aggressive but yet he’s a horse you can control. He can be off the pace if the pace is fast. Today, nobody wanted to lead for some reason. I didn’t hear anybody send or anything, so I said, ‘If they give it to me, I’ll take it.’ I just tried to get him to relax and he pretty much did the rest.”
Last after the first quarter mile, Mesut rallied for the place, finishing a neck better than Torosay. Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Mesut was off at 29-1 and paid $15.20 and $9.80.
Torosay was easily third, finishing 2 ½ lengths clear of Yes I Am Free. Off at 10-1 with Abel Cedillo, Torosay paid $4.80 to show.
Sparky Ville, who had been favored throughout much of the betting, ended up the second choice at 9-5 and finished a disappointing fifth.
Fractions on the race were 21.28, 43.56 and 55.05.