Masteroffoxhounds under jockey Joel Rosario cruises to victory in the G2 San Marcos Stakes- Photo Credit- Benoit Photo
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2021)–Confidently handled by Joel Rosario, Rockingham Ranch’s Masteroffoxhounds sat a reserved second to the top of the lane and unleashed an impressive stretch run while hand ridden to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Richard Baltas, the 4-year-old colt by War Front got a mile and one quarter on turf in 2:01.39.
With a hillside start, veteran 7-year-old Acclimate made an easy lead and set relatively mild splits of 24.41, 49.37, 1:14.19 and 1:38.49 under Tyler Baze, but Rosario had his prey measured and went on to a solid score in his third start for Baltas since being imported from Ireland late last summer.
“I was worried it was going to be a slow pace, and it was slow at 14 and change,” said Baltas. “He was impressive last time and (trained) well going into this race…I told Joel to sit second and he did it perfectly. He let the horse in front relax, but (that) horse is getting old.
“I changed the bridle and I changed the exercise rider. I just wanted him to be more aggressive…He’s trained forwardly and we’re fortunate to have him.”
A rousing 4 ¼ length allowance winner at 1 3/8 miles on turf Nov. 28 at Del Mar, Masteroffoxhounds was the second choice at 8-5 and paid $5.40, $2.60 and $2.40.
Masteroffoxhounds, who is out of the Galileo mare Outstanding, was one for six in Ireland and registered his first graded stakes victory today, improving his overall mark to 9-3-1-1. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $172,942.
“The whole time I was tracking the horse in front with a nice stride,” said Rosario, who was aboard Masteroffoxhounds for the first time today. “I had a lot of confidence in my horse. I was keeping him focused a bit in the last part, but (he) was much the best in the end.”
A multiple graded stakes winning California-bred gelding, Acclimate was second best on the day, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Starting Over. Off at 6-5, Acclimate, in his 21st career start, paid $2.60 and $2.40.
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Starting Over was off at 19-1 and paid $5.00 to show.
Santa Anita Press Release