Budroyale Reigns in Mud to Win the San Bernardino
His trainer wasn’t happy to see the rain fall Saturday at Santa Anita, but Budroyale certainly didn’t mind the downpour, which turned the track into a wet highway.
Claimed by Ted West for owner Jeffrey Sengara for $50,000 on Feb. 15, the 5-year-old Cee’s Tizzy gelding improved to 2-0 for his new connections with a five-length victory in the $167,550 San Bernardino Handicap.
“This is unbelievable,” said West, who has done very well with his claims in the last year. “It’s a surprise to me any time I win a race in the mud. I just hate it, and for 35 years, it’s just been a curse for me. I’ve run so many horses in the mud that I’ve loved and it seems like they have all gotten beat.”
Budroyale, who defeated Grindstone in an allowance race at Santa Anita a few months before that colt went on to win the 1996 Kentucky Derby, was close to the lead right from the start under jockey Matt Garcia, took over from longshot Ready Eddie on the far turn and went on to win in 1:48 2/5 for the 1 1/8 miles.
This was the seventh win in 12 main-track starts in Arcadia for Budroyale, who had won an $80,000 optional claimer in his first race for West. Saturday’s score means he has earned $141,570 for his new connections.
“He’s just a professional racehorse,” West said. “He was dropped from $80,000 to $50,000 off a decent race on the grass, which isn’t his best surface.
“The people we were claiming him from [owner Joe Scardino and trainer Nick Canani] had done phenomenally well with him [three wins in six starts] and they were just daring someone to claim him. I was absolutely flabbergasted we were the only claim in for him. I thought he had a legitimate chance to beat this field.”
Garcia certainly fits the California-bred. He was aboard for all three of the wins for Canani and the March 18 victory.
“I was pretty confident when I made the lead because I know this horse and I know how tough he is,” Garcia said. “But it’s still kind of shocking that we were able to win so easily.”
Don’t Blame Rio, who finished third in the watered-down Santa Anita Handicap, finishing ahead of Gentlemen, the only other starter, ran on for second at 33-1, beating 2-1 favorite Bagshot by half a length.
Bagshot was second in the Big ‘Cap, beaten by half a length by Malek. He remained winless since 1996 and is zero for eight at Santa Anita.
“He just wasn’t handling the track,” said Eddie Delahoussaye of the favorite, who has been second or third six times at this track. “He just wasn’t sure of his footing. He had no excuse other than that. Now, I wish it would have been dry.”
Wrekin Pilot, who was 35-1 when he won the Baldwin Stakes for trainer James Cassidy last month, will be a much shorter price today when he takes on eight other 3-year-olds in the $75,000 La Puente Stakes, which is scheduled for a mile on the turf.
In fact, the English-bred, who will race coupled with Dernier Croise, is the 5-2 favorite on Jeff Tufts’ morning line as he stretches out today after winning the Baldwin at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass.
Owned by Southern Nevada Racing Stables, Wrekin Pilot, who will be looking for his third win in 11 starts, will again be ridden by Delahoussaye.
Tenbyssimo, who was third in the Baldwin and third in a dirt race at Bay Meadows in his first two races in the United States, is the 3-1 second choice. The Irish-bred will be trying to give Neil Drysdale his 11th stakes win of the meeting, tops among trainers.
Horse Racing Notes
Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. picked up his 8,600th career victory when Closed Escrow returned from a lengthy layoff to win the third race Saturday at Santa Anita. The second winningest rider of all time, Pincay trails leader Bill Shoemaker by 233 victories. Closed Escrow, owned by Ernest Auerbach and trained by Darrell Vienna, was making her first start since Oct. 5, 1996. . . . There is a Pick Six carryover for today of more than $127,000. . . . Rustridge Flavor posted the biggest upset of the meeting when he won the second race at $200.80 under Michael Hunter. The win also keyed the largest exacta of the meeting. With 13-1 shot Bountiful running second, the $1 exacta was worth $844.