Classy Cistron Comes Off Bench & Rallies To Win Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes By A Head Under Espinoza; Trained By Sadler, He Gets 5 ½ Furlongs On Turf In 1:02.68
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 21, 2020)–Idle since winning a Grade I stakes on dirt last July, Hronis Racing’s Cistron got a perfect stalk and pounce trip in winning Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes by a head under Victor Espinoza. Trained by John Sadler, the 6-year-old full horse by The Factor got 5 ½ furlongs over a Santa Anita turf listed as “good” in 1:02.68.
Breaking sharply from post position four in a field of seven, Cistron was immediately engaged by the 5-year-old mare Surrender Now in the run to the far turn. Espinoza bided his time, allowing heavily favored Bound for Nowhere to challenge the leader around the far turn. Turning for home, Cistron angled three-deep off the rail and was up in time to claim victory over Bound for Nowhere, who had shipped in from Northern Kentucky.
“It’s all about timing and confidence,” said Espinoza, who had guided Cistron to a pair of graded stakes wins in his last three starts, most recently the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar on July 27. “I know this is a good horse and he broke sharp, but when that mare outside of me went so fast, I thought I didn’t want to empty the tank too early. I gambled a little bit and it worked out great.”
Off as the 4-1 second choice in a field of seven older runners, Cistron paid $10.80, $3.40 and $2.80.
A close second four starts back in last year’s San Simeon when run at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, Cistron, who is out of the Officer mare Major Allie, now has three graded stakes wins from an overall mark of 28-6-7-6. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $760,719.
“He’s been away since last summer and we needed a spot to run him in,” said Juan Leyva, assistant to Sadler. “He’s run well on the grass before and with this race being 5 ½ (furlongs) instead of five, we thought it would be okay. It’s great to have him back and get him going again.”
Idle since Oct. 25 at Belmont Park and headquartered with trainer Wesley Ward at Turfway Park, highly accomplished Bound for Nowhere was second best on the day under Drayden Van Dyke, who picked up the mount from regular rider Julio Garcia, who was unable to ride today.
The heavy favorite at 1-2, Bound for Nowhere paid $2.40 and $2.10 while finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Murad Khan.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, French-bred Murad Khan rallied from off the pace to prevail over King of Speed by a half length. Off at 7-1, Murad Khan paid $2.80 to show.
Pacesetter Surrender Now tired through the drive and checked in last, beaten about 6 ½ lengths.
Fractions on the race were 22.08, 44.91 and 56.64.