Billy Joel Refuses to Yield to Never Met Me in Stirring Renewal of San Juan Capistrano Stakes

The 19th Running of the G3 San Juan Capistrano

Sunday, June 19, 2022

SA Race #4 $125.000 11/2 Turf

3+ 121/124 Lbs (Plus Penalties)

Track Record-2:22.34 (Perpetual Motion-2008)

Stakes Record-2:22.96 (Greek Fighter-2009)

Billy Joel is back!  Despite breaking in the last flight at the start of the 12-furlong $125.000 G3 San Juan Capistrano, and spotting his seven rivals two punds, Billy Joel quickly made the front and repelled all challengers,including an ultra-game Never Met Me, to improve his race record to 24-11-4-3 and bankroll to $3,553.480.

Breaking in a tangle, Billy Joel was stuck at the back as Afterburner and Never Met Me went out to battle on the front-end.  Jockey Mario Gutierrez quickly moved his mount around the field so that he was three-wide and in front by the time they crossed the SA dirt at the bottom of the hill.  After posting an opening half and three-quarters in :48.71 and 1:12.57, respectively, Billy Joel was finally able to clear Afterburner and drop to the two-path shortly after they began their journey down the backstretch. 

Never getting a breather, he was a neck in front of Never Met Me as the duo passed the quarter-pole in 2:00.20 with Afterburner just two lengths back.  Never Met Me was even with Billy Joel as they raced near the eighth-pole and neither appeared ready to yield.  Back-and-forth they ding-donged for almost 100-yards, but Billy Joel dug deep, and, gradually, inched away to win by three-quarters of a length as he stopped the clock in 2:24.46.  Never Met Me never gave in and was rewarded with the place after keeping Afterburner at bay.  Raccoonimus Maximus rallied into 4th and was followed across the wire by Flashy Chai, Broad Brush, Pacific Candy, and Manchild. 

Congratulations to Billy Joel and La Canada Racehorses on their hard-fought victory in the G3 San Juan Capistrano!

Categories: Grade III, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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