Gary Jones was in a hurry late Saturday. He didn't want to miss the replay of the eighth race.
"I have to see this again to believe it," the trainer said.
What had Jones eager to get to a television set was Quiet American's impressive upset of Bayakoa in the $157,300 San Diego Handicap.
Making his first start since April 14, the 4-year-old son of Fappiano caught the 1-2 favorite with about a quarter of a mile to run and from there the only question was what the final victory margin would be.
At the end of his 1:40 2/5 journey for the 1 1/16 miles, Quiet American was a little more than two lengths ahead of the Eclipse-Award winning mare, who was spotting him seven pounds (122-115).
Well-beaten with excuses in his previous two starts--the Santa Anita Handicap and the Budweiser Breeders' Cup at Golden Gate--Quiet American looked like the horse who had displayed so much promise in his first two outings in this country.
In light of the retirements of Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, the Florida-bred and 7-2 second choice could be headed for New York with the prime objective the Breeders' Cup Classic.
"If Ruhlmann turns up here (in the $300,000 Cabrillo Aug. 25), I might go to New York and see what he can do there," Jones said. "If he runs good there, I'll know I have a horse for the Breeders' Cup.
"He came back fine, didn't he? I wasn't that confident going in because I had to see him get back to that level. I was extremely disappointed in the Big 'Cap, and when he stumbled in the race up north, he never ran a step after that.
"You have to give Bayakoa credit, though. She ran well. He's a great, big stud colt and she had to give him a lot of weight."
The victory was also sweet for Kent Desormeaux, who had attempted to upset Bayakoa aboard Fantastic Look, another Jones trainee, in the Milady Handicap June 16 at Hollywood Park.
"It's a thrill to beat a horse like her," he said. "All you ever hear is Bayakoa. We beat the filly of the world. Right now, this kind of thing compares to winning No. 547 (to break Chris McCarron's record for most victories in a year).
"Today was Quiet American's day. He ran tremendous. He just blew her away and separated the men from the girls. Mr. Jones and I talked over strategy this morning and the race was pretty much run the way we figured it. You can't take anything away from her. She kept on digging in the stretch to get second.
"I was on him once, in his last work, which was absolutely great. He blistered the last eighth when he was supposed to be galloping out."
Bayakoa's trainer, Ron McAnally, didn't come down to unsaddle Bayakoa after the San Diego, so he wasn't available for comment, but Laffit Pincay had no excuses for the champion mare.
"She ran well," he said after Bayakoa's second loss against males this year. She was beaten by 29 lengths in the Santa Anita Handicap in early March.
"She didn't give up. The pace was nice and slow (23 1/5 and 46 3/5 for the half-mile) and when I saw Quiet American come up on the outside, I tried to stay ahead of him, but I couldn't keep up.
"The other horse was too good for her today. What surprised me was how he went by me so strong because I had a lot of horse at the time. She was trying."
Bosphorus, the longest shot in the field at nearly 18-1, was third, 3 1/2 lengths behind Bayakoa. Leger Cat was fourth, then came Kunjar and Charlatan.
Corey Nakatani will be sidelined for at least 10 days after suffering a broken hand in a fight with jockey Orlando Garrido Thursday night at Los Alamitos.
The injury cost Nakatani the mount on Itsallgreektome, with whom he combined to win two stakes at Hollywood Park, in today's La Jolla Handicap. Julio Garcia, who replaced Nakatani on Palomar Handicap upsetter Jabalina Brown last Saturday, will take over on Itsallgreektome. Nakatani missed the Palomar after suffering a neck injury while working horses in the morning.
It was a profitable day on both coasts for trainer Brian Mayberry and owners Jan, Mace and Samantha Siegel.
Prospectors Gamble, who won the Triple Bend and Bel Air Handicaps at Hollywood Park, defeated Sewickley by 2 1/2 lengths in Saratoga's A Phenomenon. It was the third victory in four starts for the 5-year-old roan son of Crafty Prospector in tandem with Julio Garcia and he covered the six furlongs in 1:09 1/5.
At Del Mar, Movinglikeawinner won his third consecutive race when he beat $80,000 claimers in the third race. The Highland Park colt has now won six of his 18 starts.
Horse Racing Notes.
Jovial, who upset Stalwart Charger in the Swaps in his first start on the main track, will probably race next in the Travers Aug. 18 at Saratoga. . . . Annual Date, who was scratched from the San Diego, is being pointed for the Longacres Mile later this month. . . . Quiet American paid $9.40 to win and the victory was worth $89,800 for his owner, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. . . . The final time of 1:40 2/5 was only two-fifths of a second off Windy Sands' 28-year-old track record for 1 1/16 miles.
With the scratch of Predecessor, there's a field of six for today's La Jolla Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Besides Itsallgreektome, the other 3-year-olds set to go are Green's Leader, Music Prospector, Forest Glow, Barton Dene and Tight Spot.
UPCOMING DEL MAR STAKES Today--$100,000-added La Jolla Handicap, 3-year-olds, 1 1/6 miles on turf.
Wednesday, Aug. 8--$75,000-added De Anza Stakes, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs.
Saturday, Aug. 11--$75,000-added Escondido Handicap, 3-year-olds and up, 1 3/8 miles on turf.
Sunday, Aug. 12--$100,000-added San Clemente Handicap, fillies, 3-year-olds, 1 mile on turf.
Sunday, Aug. 12--$250,000-added Eddie Read Handcap, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Wednesday, Aug. 15--$75,000-added Sorrento Stakes, fillies, 2-year-olds, 7 furlongs.
Saturday, Aug. 18--$250,000-added Ramona Handicap, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Sunday, Aug. 19--$100,000-added Rancho Bernardo Breeders' Cup Handicap, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Sunday, Aug. 19--$300,000 Del Mar Derby Invitational, 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Wednesday, Aug. 22--$75,000-added Balboa Stakes, 2-year-olds, 7 furlongs.
Saturday, Aug. 25--$300,000-added Cabrillo Handicap, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles.