Spirit Of Makena stalks, sprints, scores in San Carlos

March 11, 2023

Spirit of Makena and Joe Bravo sprinting to victory in the GIII San Carlos. (Bernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—In only his fourth career start, 5-year-old Spirit of Makena made short work of five rivals as he stalked well fancied Forbidden Kingdom to the top of the lane and sprinted clear for a decisive 1 ½ length score in Saturday’s Grade III, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes presented by FanDuel TV at Santa Anita. Owned by his breeder, Bruce Chandler, Spirit of Makena, who is trained by George Papaprodromou, got seven furlongs under veteran Joe Bravo in 1:22.06.

A close second around the turn, Spirit of Mekena, a full horse by Ghostzapper, burst clear leaving the three sixteenths pole and was never threatened thereafter.

“He’s pretty special, let’s see what tomorrow brings,” said Bravo. “I’m really excited to be dealing with good horses. Everybody hopes they run like that, it’s just a good feeling when they do.”

A 1 ¾ length allowance winner going six furlongs Feb. 11, Spirit of Makena was off at 5-2 and paid $7.00, $3.80 and $2.60.

Out of the Gilded Time mare Win for M’lou, Spirit of Makena, in his first stakes appearance, now has three wins and a second and with today’s winner’s share of $120,000, increased his earnings to $227,600.

“Coming out of the last race he won, he came out of it great, and he’s been training great,” said Papaprodromou, who notched his second stakes win of the meet. “He was doing great leading into this race, and we tried. Obviously, it was a tough spot (but) we gave it a shot. He ran huge and what can I say?  He’s a nice horse.”

Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Forbidden Kingdom was clearly second best on the day, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of race favorite Get Her Number.

Second in the Grade I Malibu on Dec. 26, Forbidden Kingdom was off at 9-5 and paid $4.00 and $2.40.

Get Her Number, off at 8-5 with Flavien Prat up, paid $2.20 to show while holding off the late charge of Howbeit by a head.

Fractions on the San Carlos, run on a main track listed as good, were 22.60, 44.96 and 1:08.56.

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