ARCADIA, Calif. —For once, the old man was not late to the party. Brandothebartender, at age eight the oldest horse among seven California-breds in Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes at Santa Anita, flew late under Umberto Rispoli to win going away by 1 ¼ lengths, his first recognized win in his last 20 starts, going back to Dec. 31, 2018. Trained by Craig Dollase, the California-bred gelding by Tribal Rule got six furlongs on turf in 1:08.51.
Taken in-hand from his outside post, “Brando,” although a joint last with Prodigal Son heading to the far turn, was only four lengths off the lead. Turning for home with two horses beat, Rispoli angled five-deep and Brandothebartender did the rest, easily reeling in the front-runners for a decisive win.
“He’s such a versatile horse,” said Rispoli, who’s ridden Brandothebartender eight times, finishing second three times and third on four occasions. “He’s a fighter, he’s the kind of horse that you will love for life…Obviously today the key was to be on the outside and give him a clean run, without any trouble. Last time, that stakes on the dirt (third by a neck in the one mile Tiznow on Feb. 28), I thought I was the winner at the quarter pole, but he’s old. He can save his energy, he knows to do it, so I’m glad that he gave me back the stakes today.”
Off at 5-2 in his fourth career appearance in the Sensational Star, Brandothebartender paid $7.40, $3.80 and $2.60.
“I’m just so happy for these owners,” said an ebullient Dollase. “They’re new to the business and we’ve had a lot of seconds and thirds, but the wins have been tough to come by. Looking at the race, I thought he could win because of the way it set up. It looked like there was plenty of speed and there was. I loved the outside post today and it worked out. This horse brings it every time. He’s eight years old, but he doesn’t know it!”
Claimed 25 starts back for $40,000 by owners Flawless Racing, Brian Flanagan and Michael Jarvis, Brandothebartender notched his second career stakes win, with his first coming in the California Flag Handicap at five furlongs on turf here on Oct. 20, 2018.
Out of the Stravinsky mare Frysland, Brandothebartender is now 42-7-6-15 and with today’s winner’s share of $60,000, has earnings of $608,364.
(Although Brandothebartender won a 1,000 yard race five starts back on Dec. 19 at Los Alamitos, it does not count as a Thoroughbred win, as it was a mixed breed race).
Jamming Eddy, who was third, about one length off the lead set by favored Jetovator at the top of the lane, finished second by a neck over Desmond Doss. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Jamming Eddy was off at 4-1 and paid $4.40 and $2.80.
Desmond Doss, who battled back gamely under Abel Cedillo, was the third choice at 3-1 and paid $2.80 while finishing a nose better than Jetovator.
Fractions on the race were 21.44, 44.67 and 56.62.
The Sensational Star is part of the lucrative Golden State Series which is sponsored by the CTBA and is for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
Racing will resume with an eight-race card on Friday, with first post time at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Brandothebartender, (Benoit)