Chewing Gum Beats Beer Can Man by a Nose in Joe Hernandez Stakes

January 2, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2022)–In a thrilling photo finish, Chewing Gum was up to win by a thin nose over favored Beer Can Man in Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes at Santa Anita.

Named for the original Voice of Santa Anita, the Hernandez, originally scheduled to be run at 6 ½ furlongs off the track’s hillside turf course, was instead run at the same distance out of the 6 ½ furlong turf chute, with Chewing Gum, a 7-year-old full horse by Candy Ride, getting the distance under Umberto Rispoli in 1:15.27. Trained by William Mott, Chewing Gum, who shipped in from his New York base, notched his first-ever stakes win in his 23rd career start.

Next to last with three furlongs to run, Beer Can Man saved ground at the rail around the turn, tipped out four-wide at the top of the lane and was just up.

Most recently third in an ungraded six furlong turf stakes Nov. 27 at Aqueduct, Chewing Gum was off at 5-1 in a field of seven older horses and paid $13.40, $4.20 and $3.00.

Owned by Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable and Jerold L. Zaro, Chewing Gum, who is out of the Forestry mare Shared Heart, is now 23-4-4-8 overall and with the winner’s share of $150,000, he increased his earnings to 591,788.

Beer Can Man, who pressed the issue throughout from his rail post position, was back in front a jump past the wire and finished 1 ½ lengths in front of French-bred Bran. Off as the even money favorite under Flavien Prat, Beer Can Man paid $2.80 and $2.20.

Bran, who was making his U.S. debut under Joe Bravo, rallied five-deep at the top of the lane and was third best. Off at 6-1, he paid $3.80 to show while finishing a neck better than English-bred Delaware.

Fractions on the race were 23.32, 46.10 and 1:09.26.

Santa Anita Press Release

Photo: Chewing Gum (BENOIT PHOTO)

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