While the distance was shorter then he really would have liked in preparation for this event, Mb Stables Gleaming Spirit sluffed off the fact of the 12 post at the gate and put in one of his best efforts to get to the wire on top, winning this race by a half a length at 9-1 odds, in a final time of 56.51.
- For Three Years old and Up- Purse $ 1,000.000
- Santa Anita Park – Race # 9
- Five Furlongs in Distance- Inner Turf course
While his trainer thought the five eights distance was going to him coming up a bit short, Gleaming Spirit said ” Just bring it on baby,” and now has made a believer of Mb Stables. Not only did he come up with the victory, he did it from the dreaded 12 post as well.
Jockey Maldonado was smart at letting the field pull ahead of his mount so as not to get caught up in the banging and bumping early, and was kept near the back with Our Athletes No Childe Of Mine. As Great And Prudent ( Drabfantasy ) was using his naturily talented speed to lead the field into the far turn with The Grandmaster ( John Henry ) still pushing and trying to get down closer to the rail. Gleaming Spirit was still eight off the pace at this point of the race.
Hitting the top of the lane with the opening quarter going in a brisk 22.11, and Great And Prudent was now a length and a half on top of The Grandmaster who had finally cleared the two inside runners of Mystic Mac ( Mb Stables ) and Diplomatic Leader ( D J C Racing Stables ). Cold Weather Rider ( Night Rider Stables ) was still tight to the rail and hoping for a clear run to the line. Levi Sneaky ( Estero Farms ) was making his move to the outside of three inside runners off the turn. Royal Kunia ( Smokey Stover ) and Gleaming Spirit were still not firing and looked like their day was over with just a furlong and a half to run.
As the field hit the sixteenth pole, The Grandmaster was still not making up ground on Great And Prudent who was ahead by a little better then a length. Cold Weather Rider found a gap at the rail and was now poised in third, while to the outside of Flooded ( Estero Farms ) Levi Sneaky, Royal Kunia and Gleaming Spirit were all in full striking mode to get to the front.
Looking like trainer Drabfantasy was about to capture his second straight BC Turf Sprint closing on the wire, and rider D Davis was looking like he was going to capture his second BC title on the weekend. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of Gleaming Spirit to his outside after that one was in eighth at the sixteenth pole, and steal away the victory in mere fractions from the line winning by a half a length margin. Great And Prudent would have to settle for the place money on the day, after a superb performance throughout this event.
Behind these two was a wall of some seven runners all vying for the final two purse payouts, separated by times ranging from 56.77 to 56.85, just eight one hundreds of a second, an amazing finish. In the final photos, Royal Kunia would nod forward ahead of Levi Sneaky to take the show purse. Behind them, No Childe Of Mine and The Grandmaster would be a dead heat for fifth, while Pink Condor ( Axeman ) and Flooded would find themselves a dead heat for seventh. Rail runner Cold Weather Rider found himself taking the ninth position on the day, fending off a late charge coming from Magne Bern ( Gdp Inc ) to his outside.
The final four runners would consist of The Squaw ( Team 7 Illusions ) and the Quarter King ( Gdp Inc ) finishing tied for 11th, with early runners Diplomatic Leader and Mystic Mac taking the final two positions.
For Mb Stables this was his third BC title of the weekend, while also taking three other stakes event here at SA as well. Runner-up Drabfantasy took home the Gr. III Maddy Stakes on the day, but was unable to find a BC victory. Show finisher Smokey Stover had himself an amazing weekend. He took home the BC Classic with Twin Towers, went one/two in the BC Distaff, and had Eros winning the BC Fillies & Mares Sprint as well. Fourth place finisher Estero Farms grabbed the BC Juvenile Turf on Friday, and the Gr.II Twilight Derby.