FRONT RUNNING CISTRON TRANSITIONS FROM TURF TO DIRT WITH APLOMB AS HE TAKES GRADE II, $200,000 KONA GOLD STAKES BY 5 ¼ LENGTHS; ESPINOZA & SADLER TEAM FOR UPSET WIN GOING 6 ½ FURLONGS IN 1:16.33
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 20, 2019)–Raced exclusively on turf in his last 13 starts, Hronis Racing’s Cistron, who was supplemented at a cost of $4,000, completely dominated Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes at Santa Anita, as he whistled 6 ½ furlongs on the main track in 1:16.33 while winning by 5 ¼ lengths under Victor Espinoza. Trained by John Sadler, the 5-year-old horse by The Factor notched his first graded stakes win in his 25th career start.
“When we saw this race was coming up light and there wasn’t much speed, we decided to supplement,” said Sadler. “It’s been great, Hronis Racing is as good a brand as you’ll see in racing, the safety and welfare of the horses is paramount with them. We start from there when we go out and look for horses…hopefully we keep developing a lot of (them).”
Breaking from the number two post position in a field of five 3-year-olds and up, Cistron, who is out of the Officer mare Major Allie, broke like a shot and was dominant throughout as he carved out rapid splits of 22.07, 44.70 and 1:09.57.
Most recently second coming down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in the Grade III San Simeon Stakes March 31, Cistron was off at 6-1 and paid $15.60, $5.60 and $4.00.
“The important thing for me and the horse today was that he broke running,” said Espinoza, who was aboard for the first time. “He was able to take control right away and at the sixteenth pole, I said ‘Where is everybody?’ He ran great all the way to the wire, John is an awesome trainer…It is the best feeling ever to be back and ride amazing horses and win amazing races. I’m just blessed to be here.”
With the winner’s share of $120,000, Cistron now has earnings of $480,719. The Kona Gold marked Cistron’s fourth victory to go along with six seconds and as many thirds.
Second throughout, All Out Blitz finished 1 ½ lengths in front of Dr. Dorr. Off at 5-2 with Tyler Baze, All Out Blitz paid $3.60 and $2.40.
Dr. Dorr, who broke from the rail and trailed early, was third best on the day, finishing a half length clear of 3-2 favorite Kanthaka. Off at 2-1, Dr. Dorr, who was ridden by Joe Talamo, paid $2.40 to show.
Racing resumes on Sunday with a first post time for an eight-race card at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.