Favored Special Ride Flagged For Interference At The Start
ARCADIA, Calif.—Slammed hard leaving the starting gate by 4-5 favorite Special Ride, the Simon Callaghan-trained Roman Centurian, who finished second by three quarters of a length, was awarded first money via a stewards inquiry in Sunday’s $69,000 Santa Anita allowance feature.
Although Special Ride finished first by three quarters of a length, the stewards, after a brief video review, determined the interference out of the gate could’ve cost Roman Centurian a better placing. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Roman Centurian saved ground down the backside while a joint fourth into the far turn as Special Ride set all the pace on the lead enroute to getting a flat mile in 1:36.07.
Leaving the three sixteenths pole, Hernandez angled out and appeared to have the favorite measured, but Special Ride, in a gutty effort, would not be denied.
“The other horse hit me pretty hard leaving the gate,” said Hernandez. “I had to check, and I feel sorry for the winner because the horse ran really hard. Everybody was chasing him, and he beat everybody, but I think the bad start effected my horse. I think they made the right call.”
Second, beaten a neck by eventual Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit two starts back in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Jan. 30, 2021, Roman Centurian had been idle since March 6, 2021, when he was a well beaten fourth by eventual Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Life Is Good.
The second choice at 3-1 in a field of six 3-year-olds and up, Roman Centurian paid $8.80, $3.60 and $2.40.
Owned by Don Alberto Stable and Qatar Racing Limited, Roman Centurian, a 4-year-old colt by Empire Maker out of the Bernardini mare Spare Change, picked up $41,400 for the win, increasing his earnings to $119,420.
A lights-out seven length maiden winner going six furlongs here on April 16, Special Ride, who was originally trained by Bob Baffert, stretched out for the first time in his second start for Sean McCarthy and third overall. Off at 4-5, he paid $3.00 and $2.20.
American Admiral, who was unhurried early under Tyler Baze, was off at 5-1 and paid $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.27, 46.68, 1:10.16 and 1:23.25.
Racing resumes with first post time for an eight-race card on Friday at 1 p.m. Fans are advised that admission gates open early for wagering on Preakness Stakes Day, this Saturday, at 7:15 a.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Roman Centurian (left), wins Sunday’s allowance feature following disqualification of Special Ride (Benoit Photos)