American Theorem gatecrashed the Brickyard Ride party at Santa Anita on Sunday when battling his way to a thrilling victory in the feature G2 Triple Bend Stakes. The two Graded stakes on the undercard went the way of the tote board, with favourites Cairo Memories (G3 Honeymoon) and Bran (G3 Daytona) justifying their market position with comfortable victories.
Theorem provides proof of class
Triple Bend Stakes – G2, $200,000, 7f, 4yo+
Local hero Brickyard Ride had to take a back seat for once in the Triple Bend, the highlight at Santa Anita on Sunday, as American Theorem upset the party on his way to a first victory at stakes level.
The 13-1 chance, who had been campaigned beyond a mile this year, sat off the blazing fractions set by odds-on favourite Brickyard Ride and Principe Carlo until moving up under Joe Bravo to challenge around the turn.
Brickyard Ride, bidding for a historic fifth straight win in stakes at this Santa Anita meeting, soon folded but American Theorem and Principe Carlo ran eyeball to eyeball all the way to the wire in a thrilling stretch duel, with the former getting the verdict of the photo-finish camera by a nose. The longshot Get Her Number was third, three and a quarter lengths back; the clock showed 1:22 and one-fifth.
“We tried him going long, and he was chasing after fast paces and he just gave up,” said trainer George Papaprodromou. “But he’s a great horse and I love him like crazy.”
Cairo makes more memories
Honeymoon Stakes – G3, $100,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo fillies
It’s now three-for-three on the Santa Anita turf for Cairo Memories, who justified favouritism when running out a comfortable winner of the Honeymoon.
She was bet down to 1-2 and her supporters would have been nervous when she hooked up with second-choice Island Of Love at the top of the lane, but Mike Smith always looked confident and she put away that rival at the sixteenth pole, winning going away by a length and a quarter, stopping the clock in 1:48 and three-fifths. Ballet Dancing picked up the bronze medal, a length and a half further back.
Cairo Memories is likely to stretch out now, with trainer Bob Hess nominating the G1 Belmont Oaks over ten furlongs on July 9 as her next objective.
Bran blazes the trail
Daytona Stakes – G3, $100,000, 6 1/2f turf, 4yo+
It was a walk in the park for Bran in the Daytona, the French import going gate-to-wire to maintain his recent improvement and make his breakthrough at Graded level.
The even-money favourite broke on top under Juan Hernandez and kept second-choice Burnin Turf at arm’s length before opening up into the stretch, and although the posse closed in the last sixteenth Bran always had things covered, crossing the line a length clear of Majestic Eagle, with Burnin Turf a head away in third. The time was 1:12 and two-fifths.
“He’s a very honest horse,” said trainer John Sadler of the gelding who has only missed the board once in six starts Stateside. “He doesn’t have a bad race on his form, he runs good all the time.”
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