Quattroelle rallies impressively for the win in the Megahertz (Ernie Belmonte/Past The WIre)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Pres Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— In a dramatic finish, the Jeff Mullins-trained Quattroelle surged late to take Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes by a half-length while getting a flat mile over the Santa Anita turf in 1:35.04.
While the original plan was to be attentive to the pace, jockey Hector Berrios went to “Plan B” and instead tracked the field while last by about four lengths around the far turn and split horses inside the sixteenth pole to overhaul John Velazquez and Bay Storm when it counted.
“I had to be patient, I hung close to the (other horses), and I tried to wait as long as I could for an opening,” said Berrios. “Once I saw a clear opportunity, she responded well to my instructions to push forward.”
A 5-year-old Irish-bred mare, Quattroelle, who was an ungraded stakes winner for Mullins at age two, came off an even third place finish going a mile and one eighth on turf in Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes here on Dec. 31.
Dismissed at 10-1 in a field of seven older fillies and mare, Quattroelle paid $23.60, $8.80, $5.00.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal, Quattroelle picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $292,772. She now has four wins, three seconds and four thirds from 14 career starts.
“Once you break that second condition you are kind of stuck in these kind of spots, there’s just nowhere else to go. We were a little concerned about the distance, but it was really our only opportunity to run her, so this is where we ended up,” said Mullins. “Hector’s done a great job with this filly. I don’t speak Spanish and he doesn’t speak English, but we got it going on right now.”
Bay Storm, who showed the way and fought off all challengers except the winner, ran a big race in defeat under Velazquez, finishing a half-length in front of Closing Remarks. The second choice in the race at 3-1, Bay Storm returned $5.60 and $3.80.
Ridden by Joe Bravo, Closing Remarks, the lone California-bred in the field, checked in third, a neck in front of longshot One Silk Stocking and paid $3.40 to show while off at 9-2.
School Dance, the 2-1 favorite with Frankie Dettori, tired late to finish fifth, about 2 ¼ lengths behind the winner.
Fractions on the race were 23.37, 48.09, 1:12.35 and 1:23.75.