Heavily favored Enterprising overcame trouble into the far turn to win Saturday’s $75,000 Pasadena Stakes by a nose under Gary Stevens, covering one mile on turf in 1:33.75.
With the temporary rail set at 15 feet, Stevens broke from the inside in a field of nine 3-year-olds and worked his way into fourth position going to the three eighths pole, but had to steady sharply between horses as Diamond Bachelor, with Mike Smith up, closed what appeared to be a small hole at that critical point of call.
“I had a real good trip until the far turn where I got into a tight pinch,” said Stevens. “This colt is real athletic, thankfully, because I had to check him for half a stride. He got right back into the bridle for me. He got a little babyish going through the lane when I came up to Mike (Smith). He leaned on us a little bit and played some games with us.
“Then, when Victor (Espinoza, on second place finisher Quotient) came to me on the outside, he picked it up a little but I was afraid it wasn’t soon enough, but he’s a nice colt. I wasn’t sure if we had it at the wire, neither one of us was sure.
Trained by Tom Proctor, Enterprising provided the trainer/jockey combination of Proctor and Stevens with their fifth stakes win from nine tries and their 10th win overall from 26 dances at the current meet.
“He’s a nice horse,” said Proctor. “I might try the dirt with him next time. It’s nice to win a race. We were a little unlucky in the other stakes today (Stevens rode his Temeraine to a third place finish in the Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes). Some days things go your way and some days they don’t. I thought today might be like that.”
Bred in Florida by his owner, Glen Hill Farm, Enterprising, a bay colt by Elusive Quality, was off at 7-5 and paid $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60. A winner of the one mile turf Eddie Logan Stakes three starts back on Dec. 28, Enterprising came off a third place finish in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby Feb. 15 at Golden Gate Fields. He picked up his third win from six starts and with the winner’s share of $47,700, he increased his earnings to $166,050.
Quotient rallied from off the pace while green late, and just missed the win, finishing second, a half length in front of a fast finishing Home Run Kitten.
Off at 6-1, Quotient paid $5.00 and $4.20.
“He ran big, he’s a nice horse,” said Espinoza. “He’s still a little green. He didn’t want to switch leads…I tried to make him switch one time. If he does, I think he could’ve won it.”
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Home Run Kitten was last into the Club House turn, hugged the rail into the far turn, swung three-deep at the top of the lane and leveled nicely late to finish third, 1 ¼ lengths in front of Diamond Bachelor.
Off at 9-1, he paid $5.00 to show.
The second choice at 5-2, Diamond Bachelor put a head in front of pacesetter Craftsman at the top of the lane and finished fourth with no apparent excuses.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Craftsman set fractions of 23.11, 46.48, 1:10.06 and 1:21.84.
There were two winning tickets in Saturday’s Pick Six, each worth $53,078. The two tickets were purchased at Gulfstream and at Los Alamitos.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Sunday, with first post time for a nine-race card at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.
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