Foothill taking the feature Allowance under Frankie Dettori. (Benoit Photo)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.—In his second start off a lengthy layoff, Doug O’Neill’s Foothill rallied for an impressive two length win in Friday’s $72,000 Santa Anita allowance feature, giving Frankie Dettori a riding double while getting a flat mile on turf in 1:33.71.
Taken in-hand out of the gate, Foothill had two horses beat around the Club House turn and under a long hold, was about five lengths off the lead leaving the half mile marker. From there, Dettori angled to the rail and with Foothill clearly into the bridle, was in fourth position about two lengths behind front-running Give Me the Lute mid-way around the far turn.
Turning for home, Dettori put his mount into a drive three-deep and Foothill responded to win as much the best.
“Foothill is just a very solid, very honest horse,” said O’Neill. “Credit to the owners for being patient. We gave him a lot of time off and he’s come back great. Frankie just rode a beautiful race. It didn’t really work out early on in the race like we thought it would, but Frankie said he went to like Plan C mid-race and it worked out perfect.
“The Cal-bred program is great. The purses are super-strong for Cal-breds and we’re always looking for them with these kinds of horses.”
A close third off a 55-week absence in a one-mile turf starter allowance here on Jan. 21, Foothill, a 6-year-old gelding by Vronsky, was off at 7-2 in a field of eight older California bred or sired horses and paid $9.00, $4.60 and $2.80.
Owned by Jukie Seymour and Jack Stable, LLC, Foothill, who is out of the Sky Mesa mare Starry Skies, now has three wins, all on turf, and as many thirds from 17 career starts. With the winner’s share of $43,200, he increased his earnings to $124,388.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Mamba Cool, who was last early, rallied for second, finishing three quarters of a length in front of Give Me the Lute. Off as the 7-2 favorite, Mamba Cool paid $4.00 and $2.80.
Off at 5-1 with Flavien Prat, Give Me the Lute returned $3.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.50, 46.40, 1:09.89 and 1:21.81.
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.