Forgiving Spirit sails to the win (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— Now unbeaten in three pairings with apprentice Abdul Alsagoor, the Peter Miller-trained Forgiving Spirit prevailed by a head in Friday’s $72,000 Santa Anita allowance feature, giving the 4-year-old gelding by Shaman Ghost his second win in a row while getting six furlongs out of the turf chute in 1:09.07.
Away alertly, Forgiving Spirit stalked eventual runner-up In Vronsky Style to the far turn, kept to his task in game fashion and finally inched clear close to home to win a thriller.
A starter allowance winner at the same trip here on Jan. 22, Forgiving Spirit was off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of eight older horses bred or sired in California and returned $6.20, $4.00 and $2.60.
“This horse is getting better and better and Abdul has been doing a great job with him,” said co-owner Tom Kagele, who is also part-owner of the highly accomplished sprinter C Z Rocket, who ran second in his 9-year-old seasonal debut today at Oaklawn Park. “Abdul’s three for three on him now and we were happy to have him up today. This horse obviously loves running six furlongs on turf here at Santa Anita and although we were disappointed ‘C Z’ didn’t win today, Forgiving Spirit saved the day for us.
“I think we’ll look at some Cal-bred stakes and we’ll probably run next in one of those open allowances, but he’s getting better and better and he’s running great.”
Although he was bred in Kentucky, Forgiving Spirit, who is owned by Kagele and Gem Inc., is a 4-year-old gelding, who is by Shaman Ghost, who previously stood in California. Out of the Candy Ride mare Apology Accepted, Forgiving Spirit now has four wins, all on turf, from 12 overall starts.
With today’s winner’s share of $43,200, he increased his earnings to $154,540.
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, In Vronsky Style was off at 9-2 and paid $4.80 and $3.20 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Oubabe in a big effort.
Oubabe, with Frankie Dettori up, was off at 6-1 and paid $4.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.10, 44.71 and 56.56.
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.
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