ARCADIA, Calif. – Alfred Pais’ multiple stakes winning homebred Brickyard Ride tried the hillside turf course at Santa Anita for the first time Sunday and in the words of Track Announcer Frank Mirahmadi, “It’s a new game, but the same story,” as the lightning quick chestnut son of Clubhouse Ride knocked down his third consecutive stakes win as he went gate to wire in the $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes, winning by 1 ½ lengths over Indian Peak.
The Sensational Star is part of the CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series, which is for eligible California-bred or sired runners.
Trained by Craig Lewis and ridden by Juan Hernandez, Brickyard Ride got about 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:11.45.
Breaking from post position two, Brickyard Ride was quickly into stride and had a 1 ½ length advantage on Fashionably Fast and Whooping Jay as they crossed the dirt at the top of the lane. From there, Brickyard Ride showed no signs of slowing down as he comfortably held off the late run of Indian Peak, who finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of longshot Riding With Dino.
“I was asked earlier, ‘What’s your strategy?” said Lewis. “And I said, ‘Rock the party, baby!’ He’s fast and he’s good right now. He doesn’t leave the gate as quickly as people would imagine, but after a stride or two, he’s just fast. He can get into stride faster than any horse I’ve ever seen. He looked like he was going easy, but when I looked up and saw the first split (21.21), I said ‘Holy cow.’
“And then when I looked up and saw the second one (42.76), I said, ‘Can that be right?’ And then you saw the rest. He’s just a really good horse and I’m lucky to have him. Juan’s got great hands, so he really fits a horse like this.”
Fresh off a pair of statebred stakes wins at the meet, most recently the one mile Tiznow on Feb. 21, Brickyard Ride was off at 3-5 in a field of eight older horses and paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.20.
“He came to play today, just like he always does,” said Hernandez, who notched his third of what turned out to be four wins on the day. “He loves to run and I was just having fun with him. My horse crossed the dirt pretty good and after that, I asked him a couple times to pick it up and he just kept going.”
A 5-year-old chestnut horse by Clubhouse Ride, who, along with Lewis, had two winners on Sunday’s card, Brickyard Ride is out of the Southern Image mare Brickyard Helen. A winner of last year’s Grade II San Carlos Stakes and a six-time stakes winner, he improved his overall mark to 21-11-1-2. With today’s winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $680,977.
Indian Peak, who bobbled at the break and was next to last after the first quarter mile, put himself into a forward position coming to the top of the lane, swung four-wide turning for home and was second best.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Indian Peak was the second choice at 7-2 and paid $3.20 and $2.60.
Riding With Dino was unhurried early with Flavien Prat and checked in third, three lengths in front of Whooping Jay. Off at 6-1, Riding With Dino paid $2.80 to show.
Complete fractions on the Sensational Star were 21.21, 42.76 and 1:05.36.
Racing resumes with first post time for an eight-race card on Friday at 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Brickyard Ride (Benoit Photo)