ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2022)–Favored but not expected to make the early lead, Holly and David Wilson’s Barraza did just that and much more en route to a dominating 2 ¼ length win in Saturday’s $70,000 Clockers’ Corner Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Vladimir Cerin and ridden to his third consecutive victory by Kent Desormeaux, Barraza, who was haltered out of a $100,000 maiden claimer eight starts back, got six furlongs on turf in 1:07.30.
A gutty nose winner coming from off the pace of a second condition allowance going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course here on Jan. 2, Barraza employed new tactics today, as he was into the bridle coming out of the turf chute and in complete command mid-way around the far turn with a two length advantage.
“I told Kent, ‘You know what I like best about you? I never have to give you instructions,’” said Cerin. “Would anyone have instructed him to go to the front with this horse off his last race? Hell no, so just let him do what he does best. This horse is like a 14-year-old boy playing high school football and he scores a touchdown and he can’t wait to do it again.
“That’s how this horse is. We don’t work him in company anymore, because he wants to beat everybody in the gallops, the workouts, everything. I like him…I still think he can go long.”
A 3 ½ length allowance winner coming down the hill two starts back on Oct. 31, Barraza was making his first start out of the turf chute today and was off as the 8-5 favorite in a field of eight older horses and paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.60.
Claimed on April 11, 2021, Barraza, a 4-year-old colt by Into Mischief out of the multiple stakes winning mare Halo Dolly (by Popular), notched his first stakes win and his fourth win from 12 overall starts. With the winner’s share of $45,840, he increased his earnings to $166,438.
“I spent more time trying to slow him down,” said Desormeaux. “He was aggressive today, but he always is…His last effort was an eyeopener because he had no right winning that race, but Vladimir’s got him breathing fire and I’m just the happy passenger.”
Ridden by Flavien Prat, French-bred Commander knifed through at the rail to take second when Barristan the Bold tired a quarter mile from home and was second best on the day, finishing 5 ½ lengths in front of longshot Comradery. Off at 5-2, he paid $3.40 and $2.80.
Irish-bred Comradery, next to last early, ran on for third money, finishing three quarters of a length better than Border Town. Off at 16-1 with Umberto Rispoli, Comradery paid $5.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.96, 44.19 and 55.49.
Racing resumes with first post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Barraza (Benoit Photo)