A Close Call, but It's 'Heaven

Times Staff Writer

Rush Into Heaven, a 9-1 longshot who was one of five horses in the $78,300 Pinjara Stakes making their turf debut, held off a troubled Lucky Pulpit to win by a nose Saturday at Santa Anita.

Trained by Paul Aguirre for owner Jason Wood, the 2-year-old Wild Rush colt completed the mile in 1:37.38 under jockey Iggy Puglisi.

"He ran super," Puglisi said. "I didn't realize the inside horse [Lucky Pulpit] was there until real late. I thought I had it, then I thought I'd lost it."

Nister Bere, the 3-1 favorite, was third, followed by pacesetter Presumption, True Contender, Kissin Ty, General Moody, Learman, The Herc and Cryptovinsky.

General Moody's loss continued trainer Bob Baffert's local stakes drought. The barn hasn't won a stakes on this circuit since Dirty Diana took the CTBA on July 25 at Del Mar.


Better Talk Now picked up the first graded stakes victory of his career when he won the $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap at Aqueduct.

Ridden by Edgar Prado for Bushwood Stable and trainer Graham Motion, the 4-year-old Talkin Man gelding and 6-1 longshot won for the sixth time in 17 starts in the Grade II. He finished half a length in front of 7-1 outsider Del Mar Show, and ran the 1 1/8 miles over a good turf in 1:50.53.

A race later, Pocus Hocus, the second longest shot in the field at 12-1, easily won the $107,500 Turnback The Alarm Handicap.

A 5-year-old gray daughter of Quiet American owned by Susan and John Moore and trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Pocus Hocus won by 5 1/4 lengths under jockey Jose Santos in 1:50.67 for the 1 1/8 miles.

She's Got The Beat, the 19-10 favorite, had to taken by van off the track after taking a bad step at the top of the stretch. She suffered an injury to her left foreleg.


Stellar Jayne, the 2-1 favorite, won for the third time in four starts, taking the $112,300 Pocohontas Stakes at Churchill Downs by 2 1/2 lengths.

Sweet Jo Jo, the 5-2 second choice, was on her way to an apparent victory, but she broke down about 50 yards from the wire, unseating jockey Corey Lanerie.

The daughter of Grand Slam was euthanized after breaking the cannon bone in her right front leg. Lanerie was conscious and alert but was taken to a nearby hospital complaining of pain in his right knee.


Graham Stone and Will Dixon, the two men who had the lone winning pick six ticket on Breeders' Cup day, will be the guests of Oak Tree on Saturday when Santa Anita hosts the California Cup.

Stone, the handicapper of the pair, and Dixon each invested $4 and won $2.7 million -- before taxes -- on the Breeders' Cup pick six. Both natives of South Dakota, neither Stone or Dixon has ever seen a live race.

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