ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 29, 2020)–Relaxed early, English-bred Hariboux rallied through the stretch to overtake favored Smooth Like Strait en route to winning Saturday’s $100,000 Pasadena Stakes by one length under Umberto Rispoli. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Hariboux got one mile on turf in 1:34.07.
Next to last in a field of nine sophomores heading into the Club House turn, Hariboux began picking up the pace leaving the half mile pole and he had two horses beat while about six lengths off the lead set by Smooth Like Strait three furlongs out. Full of run leaving the quarter pole, Rispoli split horses three from the rail, collared the favorite a sixteenth of a mile from home and won under an energetic hand ride.
“I watched film of this horse before I rode him the last time (a close second place finish in the one mile turf Eddie Logan Stakes Dec. 29),” said Rispoli, who was aboard for the second time today. “You could see that if you put him in the race early, he will pull quite a bit. We decided he needs to be taken off the pace and it’s best for him.
“Today, I was one hundred percent sure there was enough speed in the race, so Jeff said, ‘Okay, take him back.’ We were able to save ground and coming around the last turn, a gap was open, so why go around?”
Off as the second choice at 3-1, Hariboux paid $8.20, $3.60 and $3.20.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, LLC, Hariboux, notched his first stakes win and second victory for Mullins in his fifth stateside start. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he boosted his earnings to $134,931 from an overall mark of 10-5-2-1.
“Umberto’s done a great job with him,” said Mullins, who teamed for victory againg with Rispoli two races later, giving each a triple on the day. “He’s a very studious guy and he’s a strong finisher. He’s been able to take him back, drop the reins and he’s relaxing very well. He showed a nice turn of foot today and he’s looking like he’s going to be a really nice horse.”
Ridden by Geovanni Franco, Smooth Like Strait was gallant in defeat, carving out all the early fractions while finishing 3 ¾ lengths in front of Club Aspen. Off at 8-5, Smooth Like Strait paid $3.00 and $2.80.
The lone California-bred in the lineup, Club Aspen finished well to be third, a half length clear of Goliad. The longest shot in the field at 33-1, Club Aspen paid $10.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.59, 45.53, 1:09.46 and 1:21.92.
VIA Santa Anita Press Release