After his winning ride aboard 10-1 longshot Momentus in Wednesday’s $50,000-added Rancho Santa Fe Stakes, jockey Alex Solis received an encouraging word from the horse’s trainer, Wallace Dollase.
“Hey, just remember what horse won this race last year,” Dollase said.
Solis remembers. The winner of last year’s Rancho Santa Fe, Snow Chief, became the all-time money winner for California Breds, and Solis was his regular rider. He rode Snow Chief to a victory in this year’s Preakness Stakes.
Wednesday, Solis got the mount on another potential superstar. Momentus, a 2-year-old running in his first race, covered six furlongs in 1 minute 9 3/5 seconds, the fastest time for a 2-year-old at this summer’s meeting.
He came from last to win by 2 lengths and pay $23.40, $11.20 and $5.80. High Regards, with Patrick Valenzuela aboard, was second and paid $6.40 and $4.80. Bidders, the front-runner most of the way, returned $4.20 to show.
“It’s hard to compare this horse with Snow Chief,” Solis said. “He’s just starting, out but I think he’s got a lot of future.”
Dollase agreed: “I could have looked for a maiden race for this horse, but I wanted to start him in a stakes race. He’s that good. In fact, I believe he may be the best horse I’ve ever had.”
Considering how Dollase is doing at this summer’s meeting, that’s quite a statement. Wednesday’s victory was Dollase’s seventh in only 14 starts. He also has had one horse finish second and three finish third.
Wednesday’s victory was his second stakes win. Another Dollase-trained 2-year-old, Bold Jade, won the De Anza Stakes here Aug 13.