LONGSHOT SPARKY VILLE RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE II, $200,000 SAN VICENTE STAKES BY A NOSE UNDER ROSARIO; TRAINED BY BONDE, HE GETS SEVEN FURLONGS IN 1:21.93 AS ODDS-ON FAVORITE COLISEUM FALTERS LATE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2019)–Sparky Ville seemed to relish a sloppy main track and a driving rain, as rallied to win Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita by a nose under Joel Rosario. Trained by Jeff Bonde, the 3-year-old Candy Ride gelding got seven furlongs in 1:21.93 as 3-5 favorite Coliseum faltered late to finish third, beaten 6 ½ lengths while his stablemate, Dessman, just missed in a head bob photo for the win.
Breaking like a shot from his number four post position, Sparky Ville was content to sit a close fourth at the rail as Savagery, Coliseum and Dessman slugged it out into the far turn. With a ton of horse underneath him, Rosario bided his time behind these three past the quarter pole and angled out straightening for home, overcoming a one length deficit a sixteenth out to just tag Dessman and Flavien Prat right on the money.
“Going into the far turn, I was in tight, but I had to wait because I thought those horses were moving a little early,” said Rosario, who was aboard “Sparky” for the first time today. “When we left the quarter pole, I asked him and he really picked it up. I thought those horses would come back to me and we would win easy, but (Dessman) kept fighting and it was close.
“I knew he had run well with Gary (Stevens, recently retired Hall of Famer) and I’m happy with the way he ran today. He was comfortable sitting in behind those horses and I like the way he picked it up when I asked him to go.”
Owned by Del Secco DCS Racing, Sparky Ville, who is out of the Storm Cat mare Lorelei K, had won the restricted Sunny Slope Stakes three starts back on Oct. 21 and was a well beaten second behind highly regarded Instagrand in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes five starts back on Aug. 11.
In his first graded stakes win, Sparky Ville, who was off at 7-1 in a field of five sophomores, paid $16.80, $5.60 and $2.40. In notching his third win from eight starts, he picked up $120,000, increasing his earnings to $257,770.
“I was absolutely dancing into the Winner’s Circle,” said Bonde. “It was so exciting and Joel has been like one of my kids ever since he came from Bay Meadows…So it’s wonderful to win with him. The owners are great people that really deserve something like this.
“This horse seems like he’s more adept at seven furlongs to a mile, so I’m not sure he wants a mile and a quarter…I could tell my horse had won, but I was so excited in the stretch, I thought I was gonna pass out…But it’s always scary when you get a look at those Baffert ‘Maseratis.'”
Trained by Bob Baffert, Dessman and Coliseum, who were off at 2-1 and 3-5 respectively, appear headed in different directions. Dessman, an impressive 7 ½ length first out maiden winner going six furlongs here on Jan. 19, battled back valiantly at the rail and was back in front of the winner immediately after the wire.
In his second start, Dessman paid $3.40 and $2.20 and left his rider second guessing himself.
“I moved too soon,” said a classy Prat, who had also ridden Dessman to his maiden win. “He fought back when he saw that horse…He ran great.”
Coliseum, a son of Tapit who had the look of a top Derby prospect when breaking his maiden by 6 ¾ lengths on Nov. 17 at Del Mar, flopped as the 3-5 favorite in his second start, the Grade III, one mile Sham Stakes here on Jan. 5, as he finished sixth.
With a bullet six furlong gate drill, a cut back in distance and a new rider, Mike Smith, engaged today, Coliseum was again the heavy favorite, but failed to deliver. Finishing 4 ¼ lengths in front of Synthesis, he paid $2.10 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.07, 44.32 and1:09.16.