Drysdale Gets Fourth Win In Traditional Closing Day Feature
ARCADIA, Calif.—Idle since Oct. 22 and in his first start for Neil Drysdale, Chilean-bred Breakpoint set the pace and survived a late surge from favored Red King to take Santa Anita’s traditional closing day marathon, the 83rd running of the Grade III, $125,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes by a head. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Breakpoint got a mile and three quarters on turf in 2:47.32, providing Drysdale with his fourth win in the San Juan dating back to 1999.
With a hillside start, Breakpoint, a three-time Group I winner in Chile but winless in four stateside starts in New York and Kentucky, was engaged with Dean Martini for command early but opened up a two-length advantage as the field made the dirt crossing at the top of the stretch. From there, he settled into stride and was pressed by Modus Operandi around the far turn, dispatched him a furlong out just held an unlucky Red King safe at the wire.
“He’ll go two miles, he’ll go all day long,” said Baze, who collected his second San Juan win. “He’s just a big plodder and we learned a lot from him today. You just really don’t want to take hold of him. He just wants to be free-running and he ran great. Once we hit the half mile pole, I asked him to pick it up around the turn and he picked it up a little bit, but he just kept plodding along. He galloped out way in front of everybody and galloped out strong, so, the further we can run the better.”
Distanced while finishing last in a Grade III turf Stakes going a mile and one half at Keeneland when trained by Steve Asmussen on Oct. 22, Breakpoint was off at 9-1 in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up and paid $20.20, $9.80 and $5.40.
“I’m delighted for the horse,” said Drysdale, a longtime member of racing’s Hall of Fame. “He had a masterful ride and it’s just good to see the get his form back from South America…What is in store is, we’ll give him some carrots tonight and a good dinner, and we will see where we go.”
Owned by Don Alberto Stable and bred in Chile by Haras Don Alberto, Breakpoint, a 5-year-old horse by Constitution out of the Seeking the Dia mare Safawi, is now six for nine lifetime and with the winner’s share of $75,000, increased his earnings to $286,163.
Red King, who won the San in 2020, was full of run turning for home but couldn’t get out from behind horses, was again bumped late by third place finisher Avenue and just missed in a big effort. Off at 2-1 with Abel Cedillo, he paid $3.80 and $3.00.
Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Avenue was a bit erratic late, drifting out inside the sixteenth and then shifting in three lanes at the wire. Off at 7-2, Avenue returned $3.80 to show.
Fractions on the San Juan Capistrano were 23.61, 47.97, 1:13.10, 1:39.07, 2:04.78 and 2:30.22.
Santa Anita Press Release
Breakpoint (Inside orange cap) Benoit Photo