ARCADIA, Calif.—Although heavily favored Leggs Galore appeared to have things her all her own way on the front end, a determined Eddie’s New Dream, who was shortening up out of five consecutive turf routes, ran her down late to take Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap by a half-length under Mario Gutierrez. Owned and bred by Reddam Racing, LLC and trained by Ben Cecil, Eddie’s New Dream got about 6 ½ down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:13.11.
The Cal Distaff Handicap is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
As expected, Leggs Galore went straight to the early lead an appeared to be well in-hand under Ricky Gonzalez at the dirt crossing and opened up a three-length advantage on Eddie’s New Dream three sixteenths of a mile from home. But it was “Eddie’s” day, as she kept to her task and eventually reeled in the favorite in the final 30 yards to win going away.
“The nice thing about this filly is she gives 120 percent every time I run her,” said Cecil. “I think she was a little unlucky last time (6th in the John C Mabee, Sept. 10), but she’s so tough and consistent. Hopefully she’ll race on another year next year. We couldn’t ask for much more than she’s given us.
“(Mario) knows her so well, he works her a lot in the mornings. I was a little worried, that other filly (Leggs Galore) looked to be travelling fairly comfortably, but I know Mario, sometimes looks like he’s got a little less than he actually has, so that gave me a bit of encouragement.”
A winner of the Irish O’Brien versus statebred fillies and mares the last time she tried the hillside turf, Eddie’s New Dream, a 4-year-old filly by Square Eddie, was off as the 5-2 second choice today in a field of five fillies and mares three and up and paid $7.20, $2.40 and $2.10.
“Yes, she’s been going two turns and sometimes, we’ve gotten ourselves into a little bit of trouble, but today, everything worked out perfect. She’s very consistent, she always tries hard,” said Gutierrez, who has ridden Eddie’s New Dream in all 19 of her starts.
“She had run down the hill before, so we didn’t have any concerns about the distance. The turf today was a little different. The grass has been really fast and today it was maybe softened up a little with the rain and maybe that helped us a little bit. She always runs hard, no matter what the conditions are.”
Out of the Tapit mare Walkingonadream, Eddie’s New Dream collected her second stakes win and improved her overall mark to 19-6-6-2. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she now has earnings of $485,600.
A two-time stakes winner down the hill with six overall added money tallies, Leggs Galore was off as the heavy 2-5 favorite and paid $2.10 and $2.10 while finishing 6 ½ lengths in front of Kleen Karma.
Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Kleen Karma was off at 10-1 and paid $2.40 to show while finishing a nose in front of Rose Dawson.
Fractions on the race were 22.71, 44.87 and 1:07.19.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday, which will be highlighted by a field of 11 colts and geldings going about 6 ½ furlongs down the hill in the $100,000 California Flag Handicap, is at 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo by Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire