NORTH COUNTY GUY SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT WIN AS HE HEADS SATURDAY’S $100,000 CRYSTAL WATER STAKES FOR CAL-BREDS AT ONE MILE ON TURF
RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES, WHICH IS SPONSORED BY THE CTBA
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 21, 2021)–Fresh off a pair of impressive wins over the Santa Anita turf, the Richard Baltas-trained North County Guy heads Saturday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes, for older California-bred or sired horses at one mile on turf. Named for the California-bred winner of the both the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup in 1977, the Crystal Water has attracted a field of six.
The Crystal Water is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA and is for eligible California-bred or sired runners.
A 6-year-old gelding by The Pamplemousse, out of the Unusual Heat mare Warmth, North County Guy has earned lofty Beyer Speed figures of 97 in his last two races, a 2 ¼ length classified allowance win at one mile on turf March 7 and a gutty neck victory in the Cal Cup Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles on turf two starts back on Jan. 16–a race in which he was 15 lengths off the lead after the first half mile.
Attentive to the pace in his classified allowance win, North County Guy can be expected to employ similar tactics in the Crystal Water with regular rider Mario Gutierrez back aboard.
Claimed for $20,000 21 starts back on Aug. 22, 2018, North County Guy is owned by Nancy Messineo and Bruce Sands. With an overall mark of 29-7-7-5, he’s 6-1-3-1 at one mile on turf and has amassed earnings of $421,247.
In what ranks as one of best career efforts, trainer Craig Dollase’s Brandothebartender rallied to take the statebred Sensational Star Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths on March 21, earning a solid 92 Beyer Speed figure. An 8-year-old gelding by Tribal Rule, out of the Stravinsky mare Frysland, Brandothebartender has two wins and as many thirds from seven tries at one mile on grass.
“This horse brings it every time,” said Dollase following the Sensational Star. “He’s eight years old, but he doesn’t know it!”
Ridden to perfection in the Sensational Star by Umberto Rispoli, “Brando” will be making his third career start in the Crystal Water and be ridden by the Italian native for the fifth consecutive time on Saturday. Owned by Flawless Racing, Brian Flanagan and Michael Jarvis, Brandothebartender has five wins from 23 starts over the Santa Anita turf and is 42-7-6-15 overall with earnings of $608,364.
Named for the multiple combat decorated World War II Medal of Honor winner, Desmond Doss battled back in game fashion in the Sensational Star, but ended up third, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Brandothebartender at odds of 3-1. A 5-year-old Nick Alexander homebred horse by Grazen out of Malley Girl, by Malek, Desmond Doss will generate considerable interest due to the fact he’ll provide apprentice Emily Ellingwood with her first-ever stakes opportunity.
A one mile maiden turf winner in his second start on June 8, 2019, Desmond Doss, who is conditioned by Steve Miyadi, is 11-3-2-1 and will be seeking his first stakes win on Saturday.
THE $100,000 CRYSTAL WATER STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 1 of 11 Post time 1 p.m. PT
- North County Guy–Mario Gutierrez–124
- Acclimate–Flavien Prat–124
- Desmond Doss–Emily Ellingwood–120
- Irish Heatwave–Juan Hernandez–124
- Brandothebartender–Umberto Rispoli–122
- Prodigal Son–Kent Desormeaux–120
First post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.