Fashionably Fast steps up to face front-running Ax Man and speedy Mastering in Sunday’s Santana Mile

March 25, 2021

ARCADIA, Calif.—An ultra-game one mile stakes winner versus statebreds in his most recent start, Harris Farms’ homebred Fashionably Fast steps into open company as he heads a field of six older horses in Sunday’s $75,000 Santana Mile at Santa Anita.

Fashionably Fast, a 6-year-old gelding by Lucky Pulpit, will be making his third start off of a 5 ½ month layoff and appears to be back to his best for trainer Dean Pederson.  A head victor of the one mile Tiznow Stakes on Feb. 28, Fashionably Fast is a five-time stakes winner that has two wins and a second place finish from three tries at one mile.

Owned by Harris Farms, Inc., Per Antonsen and John Nicoletti, Fashionably Fast is out of the Forestry mare Fall Fashion. With regular rider Tiago Pereira back aboard, Fashionably Fast will likely stalk what shapes up as a lively pace.  With an overall mark of 20-8-4-3, Fashionably Fast has earnings of $568,245. 

Hal and Patti Earnhardt’s homebred Ax Man, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Misremembered, will be ridden for the first time by Edwin Maldonado and will most likely be sent to the front in aggressive fashion.

Trained by Bob Baffert and favored in 10 out of his 15 starts, Ax Man resurfaced as the 3-1 favorite off of a six month layoff to run fourth, beaten 6 ¼ lengths going six furlongs in the Grade III Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 23 and will no doubt show plenty of zip stretching out to a distance at which he’s unbeaten in two starts.

Baffert will also be very well represented by the streaking Mastering, who has won three consecutive starts at the meet and will be making his stakes debut with Juan Hernandez up.  Mastering, who has a stalking style, would be flattered by a fast pace.  An impressive half length second condition allowance winner going 1 1/16 miles on March 6, Mastering earned a solid 91 Beyer Speed figure in what was his fifth career start.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Mastering, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Street Sense out of the Pulpit mare Shimmer, was ridden to victory by Hernandez in a one mile allowance two starts back on Jan. 18 and appears poised to bring his best on Sunday.

Trainer Val Brinkerhoff’s highly accomplished Restrainedvengence will be making his second start off of a five-month layoff and could run much better with a recent race under his belt.  Sixth, beaten 4 ½ lengths at odds of 6-1 in a one mile turf classified allowance March 7, this 6-year-old gelding by Hold Me Back is a six-time stakes winner with solid credentials on turf, dirt and synthetic.

A winner of a $200,000 stakes going a mile and one eighth three starts back on Sept. 19 at Albuquerque Downs with Ruben Fuentes, he’ll be ridden by Tyler Baze, who last rode him nine races back in November, 2019, as he registered a gate to wire win in a $150,000 stakes at Zia Park going 1 1/8 miles. 

The leading money earner in the Santana field with $626,222, Restrainedvengence, who is 27-8-3-1 overall, is owned by Kelly Brinkerhoff and Bobby Grayson, Jr.

With leading rider Flavien Prat named to ride, Growth Engine is an interesting commodity who will be making his Southern California debut in what will be his first start for John Sadler.  Favored in four out of his seven starts for Chad Brown, Growth Engine has been idle since taking a one mile and 70 yard allowance by a nose at Monmouth Park on Sept. 19.

A 5-year-old gelding by Tapit, Growth Engine is owned by Klaravich Stables, Inc. and will be making his stakes debut with an overall mark of 7-3-3-1 while racing at Monmouth, Saratoga and Gulfstream Park.

THE $75,000 SANTANA MILE Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT

1. Mastering—Juan Hernandez—122

2. Major Cabbie—Abel Cedillo—122

3. Fashionably Fast—Tiago Pereira—124

4. Growth Engine—Flavien Prat—122

5. Ax Man—Edwin Maldonado–124

6. Restrainedvengence—Tyler Baze—124

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.

Santa Anita Park Press Release

Photo: Fashionably Fast (Benoit)

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