LITTLE JUANITO ALL HEART IN TAKING $59,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY A HALF LENGTH UNDER GONZALEZ
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2020)–Trainer Victor Garcia’s Little Juanito proved gamest in a field of four today at Santa Anita, as he motored to a half length win in the day’s featured $59,000 allowance under Ricky Gonzalez. Owned by Juan Garcia, Little Juanito got 5 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:02.24.
Head and head for the early lead with Calexman, Little Juanito edged clear mid-way around the turn and emerged with a one length advantage turning for home and held Mesut safe late in a big effort.
“He was very relaxed and he showed a lot of heart,” said Gonzalez, who registered his second win of the day. “That other horse was coming, but he had enough left.”
In his second start of the year, Little Juanito, a lightly raced 6-year-old gelding by Exchange Rate, improved off a sixth place finish on dirt Aug. 29 and paid $11.00 and $4.80 while off at 9-2.
Although winless in five tries over the Santa Anita lawn, he did have two wins from four tries at 5 ½ furlongs on turf. With today’s win, he picked up a check for $35,400, increasing his earnings to $185,770 and improved his overall mark to 17-3-4-5.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Mesut was last but just two lengths off the lead turning for home and proved second best, finishing a length in front of 3-5 favorite Grit and Curiosity. Off at 5-2, Mesut paid $4.00 with no show wagering.
Fractions on the race were 22.39, 44.90 and 56.27.
Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time for an 8-race card at 1 p.m.