ARCADIA, Calif. (April 24, 2021)–Next to last mid-way around the far turn, veteran 8-year-old gelding Brandothebartender rallied four-deep turning for home en route to a solid three quarter length win in Saturday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Craig Dollase and ridden by Umberto Rispoli, “Brando” got one mile on turf in 1:35.04.
With Acclimate and Flavien Prat dictating the early pace, Brandothebartender, who rated kindly under Rispoli, had about three lengths to make up a quarter mile from home and proved more than equal to the challenge.
“He ran great and we thought he would,” said Dollase, who claimed the son of Tribal Rule for his owners 26 races ago, on Aug. 1, 2018 at Del Mar. “Umberto rode him perfect and instead of being bottled up, he was free-running. He’s just a racehorse. He knows where the wire is and it’s nice to take advantage of the great Cal-bred program we have out here.”
A winner going six furlongs on turf of the Cal-bred Sensational Stakes here on March 21, Brandothebartender, who had been winless in the past two runnings of the Crystal Water, was off at 5-1 among a field of five California-bred or sired older horses and paid $12.00, $3.80 and $2.10.
“As I said last time, he’s versatile,” said Rispoli, who was aboard for the fifth consecutive time today. “You can put him on the street, he can run on the street. I don’t think he’s afraid about anything and he proves that with the years…You can put him wherever you want…He knows what he’s doing.”
Owned by Flawless Racing, Brian Flanagan and Michael Jarvis, Brandothebartender notched his third win from eight tries at one mile on turf and in his 43rd career start, got his third lifetime stakes win. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $668,364 and improved his overall race record to 43-8-6-15.
North County Guy, who sat third to the top of the lane behind Acclimate and Desmond Doss, finished one length in front of Acclimate. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, North County Guy was off at even money and paid $2.60 and $2.10.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Acclimate lacked the necessary kick and finished third, a nose better than Desmond Doss. Off at 9-5, Acclimate paid $2.10 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.60, 47.58, 1:11.39 and 1:23.19.
Named for the California-bred winner of the both the 1977 Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup, the Crystal Water is part of the lucrative Golden State Series. Sponsored by the CTBA, the Golden State Series is for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
UMBERTO RISPOLI, BRANDOTHEBARTENDER, WINNER: “As I said last time, he’s a versatile. You can put him on the street, he can run on the street. I don’t think he’s afraid about anything and he proves that with the years. He’s such an old horse, so he’s an expert, and he’s a nice horse to ride. You can put him wherever you want. (He gave me) speed in the beginning, I could go to the lead but that was not the case. Obviously, I had a very good trip during the race. My thought was to go to the fence right away and track Acclimate which I thought was the horse that was going to bring me further. Obviously, when North County Guy (moved) to the outside, he was a target…(My horse) did the rest, he could win by two lengths but he was waiting for the other horse. He knows what he’s doing.”
CRAIG DOLLASE, BRANDOTHEBARTENDER, WINNER: “He ran great and we thought he would. Umberto rode him perfect and instead of being bottled-up, he was free-running. He’s just a race horse. He knows where the wire is and it’s nice to be able to take advantage of the great Cal-bred program we have out here.
“This horse he makes my job easy. Any trainer out here will say when you have a horse that’s as consistent as he is and lays his body down each and every time. He reminds me of a horse called Awesome Jim who I use to train. A versatile gelding, ran until he was nine. This horse doesn’t know he’s eight years old. He really doesn’t he trains like a young horse and we’re very blessed to have him. I’m very glad we won the shake that day.
“Back to back, we’re kind of shocked. He’s kind of found the fountain of youth here at age eight. He trains so well and we have taken advantage of the Cal-bred program out here, it’s so great. I think this is the third time he’s run in the race, he was in good form and we’ll kind of map out a plan here. But he doesn’t owe us anything. He’s as honest as the day is long.”
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Brandothebartender, (Benoit)