ARCADIA — Wound Tight, bet down from 5-1 on the morning line to the 3-1 third choice in the wagering, took the eight-horse field gate to wire, easily winning the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic by 3 1/2 lengths on a Saturday afternoon when Santa Anita carded five stakes restricted to California-breds.
The 5-year-old gelding by Coil, one of only two horses in the field to have won at the race’s 1 1/8-mile distance, finished in 1:48.24 after carving out easy fractions of 23.39, 48.62 and 1:13.
Coming in off a nose victory in a $40,000 optional claimer at Del Mar on Dec. 1, Wound Tight, ridden by Abel Cedillo and trained by Bob Hess Jr., won for the fourth time in 10 starts.
Ward ‘n Jerry, the 2-1 favorite, finished second, a half-length in front of 34-1 longshot Cono. Ashleyluvssugar, a 9-year-old gelding whose career is winding down, finished fourth at 7-2 in the eight-horse field.
“This horse is very strong on the lead,” Cedillo said. “There was no pace, so he was tough on the lead. He never got tired. We came back in front of the grandstand and he still wanted to run.”
The 58-year-old Gerardo Morales, Hess’ assistant who’s been with the barn for 35 years, said he was a bit concerned about the distance.
“But he definitely got the job done. I’m really happy with him,” said Morales, who saddled the winner because Hess was in Florida. “When I saw the fractions, I said, ‘We have a big chance.’ When they turned for home I knew it was all over.”
Fatality in opener
Uncontainable, a 5-year-old daughter of Acclamation who made 11 starts in her career, broke her right front ankle in the stretch of Saturday’s first race and had to be euthanized, the second fatality in two days at Santa Anita and third racing death of the meeting.
Trained by Peter Miller, Uncontainable won three of her 11 races for earnings of $24,390.On Friday, the Val Brinkerhoff-trained Harliss, seventh in the eight-horse field in the final race of the day, was unsaddled and vanned off. He later had to be euthanized.
A necropsy will be performed on the two horses, as required by the California Horse Racing Board.
Veteran rider delivers
Agapito Delgadillo, a 53-year-old native of Mexico City, doesn’t get many chances to ride in $150,000 stakes races, but he was aboard the winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint.
Stealthediamonds, the 3-1 second choice, broke on top in the six-horse field and never looked back, holding off 1-2 favorite Just Grazed Me to win by a half-length in 1:01.61 for the 5 1/2 furlongs over a firm grass course.
Win streak continues
Fashionably Fast made it five consecutive victories by winning the $150,000 California Cup Sprint by a neck over Lieutenant Dan, running the 6 furlongs in 1:09.60 over a fast main track as the 2-1 second choice.
Ridden by Tiago Pereira, the Dean Pederson-trained Fashionably Fast, a 5-year-old gelding by Lucky Pulpit, won for the sixth time in 15 races. Demonstrating his gameness, he’s won four of the six by three-quarters of a length or less.
Warren’s Showtime came charging home from fifth to win the $200,000 California Cup Oaks by 3 1/2 lengths under Jorge Velez for trainer Craig Lewis.
Sent postward at 4-1, the 3-year-old daughter of Clubhouse Ride ran the 1 mile on the turf in 1:36.50. The 3-1 favorite, Been Studying Her, finished 11th in the 12-horse field.
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