Overlayed at 7-1 with Victor Espinoza up, C R K Stable’s Express Train took the length of the stretch but he finally overhauled heavily favored Hot Rod Charlie and Eight Rings to take Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita by a nose. Well beaten in the Pacific Classic two starts back and most recently third here in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes Oct. 2, Express Train paid $16.40, $3.00 and $2.40 in one of six stakes on an 11-race Opening Day card.
Trained by John Shirreffs, Express Train, a winner of the Grade II San Diego Handicap three starts back on July 17, notched his third graded stakes win today and improved his overall mark to 15-5-4-3. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $815,800.
A 4-year-old colt by Union Rags, Express Train is out of the Mineshaft mare I’m a Flake.
Hot Rod Charlie, who stalked Eight Rings throughout, got on terms at the top of the lane, but was unable to open up on his competition, enabling the winner to just prevail as he rallied on the far outside.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Hot Rod Charlie, who raced without blinkers today, finished a half length in front of Eight Rings. Off at 1-5, Hot Rod Charlie paid $2.10 and $2.10.
Off at 6-1 with John Velazquez, Eight Rings paid $2.60 to show while finishing 4 ½ lengths in front of longshot Go On.
Fractions on the race were 23.87, 47.37, 1:11.89 and 1:37.97.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Benoit Photography