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Irish-Bred Is a Clear Winner at Santa Anita

<i> Associated Press</i>

Blending Element won for the fifth time in eight American starts on Wednesday, rallying to beat Verinha by one length in the $75,925 Reloy Handicap at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez and carrying high weight of 118 pounds, Blending Element covered 1 1/4 miles on turf in 2:02 and, as the 4-5 favorite in a field of six, paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20.

The victory was the sixth in 15 starts for Blending Element and was worth $45,555, increasing the career earnings of the 5-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Great Commotion to $207,524.

Gomez was a substitute rider for Eddie Delahoussaye, who did not ride for a second consecutive day because of a sinus condition.

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Verinha, ridden by Gary Stevens and carrying 115 pounds, crossed the finish line a nose in front of Kicken Grass and returned $3.60 and $2.80.

Kicken Grass, a 41-1 longshot ridden by Matt Garcia and carrying 109 pounds, was 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Call Me at the wire and paid $2.80 to show.

Trendy Cindy was fifth and Celibataire last in the race for fillies and mares.


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